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Movie Review: Slake Your “Thirst” For Icelandic Horror

Thursday, December 10, 2020 | Reviews


Starring Hjörtur Sævar Steinason, Hulda Lind Kristinsdóttir and Jens Jensson
Written by Björn Leó Brynjarsson
Directed by Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson and Gaukur Úlfarsson
Uncork’d Entertainment

If you are a penis toting individual like myself, you are probably in a state of constant fear about it being aggressively torn from your body and consumed by a maniac. This is like 90% of what happens in THIRST (Þorsti in its original Icelandic.) The rest of the film is filled with corrupt cops or cults, so all in all, it’s pretty incredible.

The film follows a drug addict, Hulda who stands accused of contributing to her brother’s death by overdose. She’s a hot mess, and everyone around her is disappointed in her tomfoolery. Things go from sad to weird when she steps in to prevent the murder of a sad old man by Icelandic ruffians who essentially look like gang members from a Frank Miller graphic novel. Unbeknownst to her, he was rushing to the aid of Hjörtur, an ageless vampire creep who prefers noshing on cock over necks. A dong draining Dracula, if you will. Hjörtur begins palling around with Hulda, making her life infinitely worse at every step.

In the background, there’s inept cop Jens, who is convinced Hulda killed her brother and is somehow involved in some sort of witchcraft (he believes this before Hulda even trips her way into Hjörtur’s stiffy-snarfing shenanigans.) He harasses her at every turn, and even claims to have had a sexual past with Hulda’s mother, a dubious claim since Jens has the personality and sex-appeal of under-mashed potatoes.

Oh yeah, Jens’ wife is the local religious zealot, bombarding TV screens with predictions about the end of days. Her congregation has been dwindling, and her recently returned daughter has ideas on how to shake up the church (see: murdery cult shit, complete with matching jumpsuits.) The new presence of the Count of Castration seems to play right into their hands.

Due to the language barrier, it’s hard to tell if the acting is bad or not. It seems like everyone is either lifeless or on cocaine, but that might just be how Iceland be. It isn’t a detriment to the film, either, since people under or overreacting to these supernatural events adds another layer of absurdity to a story that is already about a ghoul who literally eats a wang in a hot dog bun.

The lighting and soundtrack try to add to that ’80s neon craze that’s been sweeping through the horror genre. The medium might be over-saturated with this style, but THIRST only plays with these elements (with a synth tune here or a haze of purple there) so you aren’t beaten over the head with it. Some of it is even appealing, like shop fronts filled with off-pink lighting and old TVs burbling with a constant stream of the local cult’s propaganda.

While THIRST’s concept is ludicrous, the film doesn’t seem to be a simple “shut your brain off and enjoy” affair. Hjörtur and Hulda are actually tragic characters, both disconnected from a world they are forced to weave through, dealing with a sense of emptiness by filling it with various vices (namely: drugs and dongs). Hjörtur Sævar Steinason’s portrayal of an emotionally distant and morally disinterested vampire is extremely fresh, especially for any horror fans who are bored to death of classically gorgeous blood-suckers.

THIRST is an enjoyable film for horror fans who enjoy a bit of ludicrous Icelandic black comedy, and it’s also the most fun you could possibly have worrying about your wiener.

THIRST is now available on Digital and DVD from Uncork’d Entertainment. 

Dakota Dahl
Dakota Dahl has no idea what he is doing, but people seem fine with paying him to do it.