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Stars: Noomi Rapace, Kristoffer Joner, Vetle Kvenild Werring, Maria Bock

Director: Pal Sletaune

Rapace's first Scandinavian-based follow-up to the Dragon Tattoo films finds her playing a much less mentally secure and self-confident woman. Cloistered with her eight-year-old son at an address where her abusive husband can no longer locate her, Anna tells her new friend, Helge (Joner) from the local store that 'I see things that aren't real every day'. 'Have you told a doctor?' he asks. 'No,' she replies, 'they'll take Anders from me.'

Helge, beside befriending her, sells her two Babycalls, to keep her in touch with her son in other rooms. But she begins to hear strange things on hers. Raised voices. A child shouting 'Let go of me. I don't want to' and a woman's voice crying 'What have you done?'

To the end, we're never sure who and what Anna sees is real, or simply the product of her rambling imagination. The script also takes great care to conceal which, if any, of the characters she encounters are ghosts. Anna takes her son to a lake, which proves to be a car park. Later, she returns to the 'lake' and sees a man drowning a child. She is found wandering in the car park - but soaking wet...

In the end, all this subterfuge proves rather exasperating, almost to the point where there's too much to explain and we don't care. And, even given the final revelation, bits of the story still don't make sense. Rapace's mobile face and enigmatic personality, however, ensure we stay with it to the end to see how much the writers will eventually explain.

In contrast to the bleak setting of Anna's poky flat, the widescreen woodland photography by John Andreas Andersen is among the best of its kind seen on screen.

David Quinlan

Norway/Germany/Sweden 2012. UK Distributor: Soda . Colour by Soho Images Lab.
96 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 26 Mar 2012