Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Well this is an odd little production. A Swedish Horror movie, shot in Sweden, starring Swedish actors which seems to take place in the United States with these actors speaking perfect, accent free English. The movie itself, ‘Insane’, isn’t so odd as it is a fairly generic slasher flick, but as far as slasher flicks go I will say that ‘Insane’ is a competent one.

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere is a very nice hotel run by the extremely odd character of David (Lars Bethke). We don’t know if David is the killer or not but somebody did something really bad to that cutie pie trying to take a bath in this film’s opening scene.

With that little bit of nastiness out of the way we are introduced to the rather voluptuous Jenny (Alida Morberg) who was on a road trip to do something that she led us to believe that she probably shouldn’t be doing in the first place, but somewhere on her journey she made a left turn when she should’ve turned right which has landed her at David’s hotel. This is unfortunate for Jenny. Nonetheless David secures a comfortable room for the woman, feeds her a nice meal, they enjoy a spirited conversation over drinks and David escorts Jenny back to her room apparently misreading her kindness as an advance for which he is summarily and harshly rejected.

No harm no foul, right? That is until the weird dude with the black gasmask and floor length plastic coat shows up, the same cat we saw do something really bad to the cutie in the opening scene. Jenny will not be heard from again.

Even though we are not exactly sure what happened to young Jenny, we’re not feeling positive about her outcome. But on Jenny’s side is her older sister Sarah (Johanna Leamo) and she is looking for her baby sister. Naturally this leads her to David’s hotel, David feigns ignorance concerning Jenny, Sarah has her doubts about David and his story and checks in for the night. This will be unfortunate for Sarah. However what Sarah has over Jenny is that while Jenny was built for comfort, Sarah is built for speed. And she has a gun.

Sarah gets to poking around to find out what happened to her sister and even calls her fiancé John (David Lennemen) to join her at this hotel in her search. This will be unfortunate for John. There are other people who float in such as the cop looking for a missing couple or the curious dude finding an abandoned car… yes… it’s unfortunate for them as well. However there is still some debate over who is doing these killings. It could be David because David does have some issues as we observe him occasionally flashback to his life as a child at this same hotel which does look a little screwed up. But our killer appears to be someone completely different, so it can’t be David. Or can it? Eventually Sarah and John will learn the truth, with part of this truth being something that Sarah would’ve rather not have known. But it is a slasher flick and as such it must come down to the athletic Final Girl and the angry, unstoppable dude in a mask. The fiancée? Well, he is kind of a Black Guy. Be it Sweden or Timbuktu, slasher rules apply.

Once you get past the digital video look of this film co-directed by Anders Jacobsson and Tomas Sandquist, and that might difficult for some to do since ‘digital video’ does tend to ring synonymous with ‘homemade’, ‘Insane’ really isn’t all that bad of a slasher flick. True enough, it doesn’t do anything in particular to elevate the genre, as if the slasher could actually be elevated in some way, but I did find ‘Insane’ oddly enjoyable.

‘Insane’ did have a few things working in its favor with one of these things being that actor Lars Bethke did an admirable job in being suitably creepy when necessary, and without spoiling anything for those who haven’t seen this movie, being something else when the situation called upon it. Also for a lower budgeted film the gore effects were pretty good as we got see a cutie get a knife jabbed in her spine and jut out through her mouth, the occasional jaw gets ripped off its axis, a head gets crushed by a lead pipe and other kinds of death and mayhem. Note that this movie doesn’t have a large cast so try not to get too terribly attached to anybody in this movie. We also liked Johanna Leamo’s spunky Final Girl performance though it looks like the young lady has never actually held a gun before, and this movie also had a really well choreographed fight sequence. A little one sided perhaps but not bad at all. And the reason why our bad guy is the way that he is? Mighty disturbing indeed.

Still it is a slasher flick and is beset with a lot of the slasher limitations such as rote predictability, a villain who appears to be super human for whatever reason, some stiff performances to counter the decent performances we already mentioned, and some shaky pacing here and there.

That being said we weren’t bored or disappointed with what we got with this movie ‘Insane’. It has some challenges as a work of cinema, that’s for sure, but I was still entertained by the story it had to tell.

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