The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

Not exactly a horror film per say keeping up with my scary movie theme to go along with this very special time of year, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo does contain shades of horror movie lore. The story and scenes of suspense will keep you captivated until the very end just like a good horror movie would. Hearing of all the praise and accolades this film was receiving, I couldn’t wait until next week to check it out.

The plot revolves around two main characters; Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), an ace reporter who has been seemingly framed for gun-running among other crimes after he tries to take down a tycoon of a major corporation. The other is an expert computer hacker and researcher, Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), who is hired to follow Blomkvist and keep tabs on his life. After he is found guilty on the afore-mentioned charges, he is hired by a wealthy man named Henrik Vanger to solve the 40-year old disappearance of his niece, Harriet before his jail sentence begins.

Apprehensive at first, he eventually accepts the case and begins to probe into the lives of Vangers’ relatives trying to find out as much information as he can about her unexplained vanishing. Ultimately, Salander assists him in his plight and they stumble across several cases of murders apparently committed by the suspects through instruction from the Holy Bible. The deeper they dig and closer they get to solving the mystery, the more entangled in the Vangers’ family web they find themselves.

Originally a novel written by Stieg Larsson, this Swedish film is the subject of an American adaptation due out next December. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev with the screenplay written by Nikolaj Arcel & Rasmus Heisterberg, the story portrayed in this film is near superb. Masterfully thought out and transferred onto the screen in a way that drags you into the plotline you almost forget you’re sitting there for two and a half hours.

Recounts of religious murder and mutilation cover the “scary impact” of the film. Probably won’t leave most people cringing in fear but still not for those who aren’t the best at dealing with the site of blood. Weaving the two characters’ personal stories into the disappearance case that they are both working on is done without a hitch so the audience doesn’t become confused. The only potential drawback, as with many foreign films, was becoming tired of reading all the subtitles (dialogue is in Swedish).

The first in a trilogy; the second film, The Girl Who Played with Fire, arriving on DVD on Tuesday, October 26th, and the third film, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, coming soon after, this film is already available for pick-up. A very well put together suspense thriller, I give The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo “4.5 framed pictures of flowers out of 5”.

-“What has happened to you? How did you turn out this way? You know everything about me. I don’t know shit about you. Not a damn thing.”

- “That’s the way it is.”

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