A husband has his life ruined when he find his wife having sex with another man. He becomes a psycho-sadistic serial killer who kills, rapes and sometimes even eats parts of his victims. Blood on blood. You should not cheat on your husband when he is raving jealous, he will make you suffer beyond belief…
Coming to us from Denmark, Flaenset is a violent, bloody film written and directed by Heini Grunbaum – the first and, to date, only film he has made. The plot to this movie is pretty simple – a guy catches his wife cheating on him, succumbs to his rage and anger, and becomes what is essentially the equivalent of his neighborhood’s Lucker the Necrophagous. It doesn’t matter that you have done nothing to this man, no one is safe from his bloodthirsty rage. That plot may sound familiar, it’s a fairly common set-up, but are there enough unique aspects to this movie to warrant a recommendation?
This movie is set up in the style of a slasher – for most of the running time (which is only about 78 minutes), we are following the killer, Jan (movie veteran Thomas Bo Larsen, who might be familiar to some from his brief appearance in Lars Von Trier’s The Kingdom, as well as a long list of Danish films), an anti-hero at best – he was betrayed – but certainly not a “good guy” by any stretch of the imagination. Poor Jan, he finally gets home after his car dies on him multiple times, only to find his wife (Konen, played by Tusnelda Frellesvig) and some other guy (Elskeren, played by Michael Brendstrup) all over each other, which obviously sets him off. The next time we see him, he is rising up from the backseat of Elskeren’s car with a hook/claw in his hand. And then the blood begins to flow…
Flaenset, while not having very much depth to the story it tells, is indeed all about the blood and gore as Jan goes on a killing spree. But if he kills off his wife and her lover right away, then who is even left to brutalize? Pigen, played by Josephine Akvama, who was just trying to mind her own business while walking home in the rain before being offered a ride by Elskeren, that’s who. Poor girl quickly finds herself in the middle of hell, having no idea who Jan is or what has happened to him, but knowing for sure that he is not someone she wants to be around. Try as she might, she cannot escape – and she tries twice, to no avail. There’s also a couple of cops (Lars Mikkelsen, from the Danish version of The Killing as well as When Animals Dream, and Jens Okking, star of both film and television) who happen upon a car on the side of the road and find themselves in more trouble than they expected. But the problem is, once the “revenge” part of this story is settled, which is fairly quickly, all of these other characters are just extra. And that is where the story heads off the rails.
But I promised there is lots of gore, didn’t I? Well, there is…and the effects work is all handled quite well. We’ve got a bunch of folks getting stabbed, gutted, and torn apart with a garden tool, which is pretty brutal, but the real nastiness comes in after the victims are dead. It turns out, Jan has completely lost his mind, lost all ties to reality, and soon bodies are hung around the house like dolls, and body parts become crucial ingredients to Jan’s new experimental recipes. Pretty soon, Jan and the sole survivor (no spoilers here) are as covered in blood as characters in a New French Extremity film, but to what end? With the conflict of the story (man cheated on by wife) resolved so early on, so much afterward seems unnecessary and existing solely for gore’s sake…which might not be all that bad, depending on what exactly you are looking for in a horror movie.
Flaenset is a bloody revenge/slasher film that delivers in the gore department but leaves the viewer hanging when it comes to a point. The capable effects work helps the diehard horror movie fan to overlook some of the little things that so often arise in low budget films (the occasional “too dark” shots, the average quality of acting, etc), but the story is where it is lacking. I’d recommend this for the hardcore gore and slasher fans who want/need to see it all. Otherwise, you’ve seen this before, sometimes much better, and sometimes far worse.