This movie is more of sins as well as retribution for those committed sin rather than a horror in traditional sense.
Release Date: 24 October 2008 (Finland)
Director: Antti-Jussi Annila
Writer: Iiro Küttner
Cast: Ville Virtanen, Tommi Eronen, Viktor Klimenko
Country: Finland, Czech Republic
Language: Finnish, Russian
In most of the supposedly scary movies that are included in today’s genre film festivals, majority of which tend to end up not being anything close enough to horror at all. However, this movie, The Sauna, lives up, and, actually, exceeds, the expectations of today’s horror fans. It had an unexpected twist to it, which is something that is very interesting in a horror flick.
The Sauna takes place during the Russian/Swedish War back in the 1500s era. A group is left out in the borderland as they draw lines between the two opposing countries. This movie was shot for a million dollars and the production staff felt like they had all the money in the world as none of them held back. This is actually very obvious during the whole duration of the movie since the audience can certainly notice that the movie was made with the crew’s one hundred percent.
The cinematography was absolutely fantastic and it used silence to its advantage. Despite being relatively quite, the scenes were able to particularly depict the story to the viewers over the dialogue.
The Sauna focuses on sins as well as retribution for those committed sins. Although there is not much killing, blood, or any kind of gore at all, it comes out as a highly chilling and ultimately scary movie that makes the members of the audience grip the edges of their seats. The movie director, Antti-Jussi Annila is exceedingly talented in this field as she is able to draw in the audience and make them actually feel the fear on the screen. The Sauna is as strong and disturbing as it can get.
It is actually pretty much rare, especially nowadays, that a movie will cause this particular level of fear. And, The Sauna did it very well. Unfortunately for those who live in the USA and love horror so much, this is actually a Finnish film and would be quite hard to find in American video stores.
Antti-Jussi Annila is actually an internationally known martial arts odyssey. She has given the world Jade Warrior, which is also made its mark in many Asian countries. The Sauna is the follower of this festival-winning martial arts film. When asked, she stated that she felt very much inspired by the post-war diplomatic emissaries that got to encounter the dark forces that were quite high on gloomy portent.
The pitiless warrior, named Eerik, played by Ville Vertanen, was afraid of having to atone for the seventy three lives that he took with his hand. His brother, Knut, played by Tommi Eronen, was a scientist and more on the gentler side of life during this post-war epic.
After his sadistic brother unnecessarily attacks an innocent peasant family, ghostly apparitions start to appear. These ghosts seem to multiply as the brothers get nearer to an uncharted village, with a population of seventy three individuals.
The scriptwriter, Iiro Kuttner, wrote the script wonderfully, as he made sure that the audience is left uncertain of what is about to happen next, why or how the movie characters died. He aimed to give the film an enigmatic feel to it.