Here at ScreenAnarchy we sure have some love for the Swedish horror drama Marianne. Director Filip Tegstedt's first film, written by himself, tells the story of Krister, a schoolteacher who is driven insane every night by what seems to be a ghost. Is it a nightmare, a dream brought on by a guilty conscience? Or a "Nightmare", a legendary supernatural creature out to get him?
After its world premiere at FANTASIA in 2011, Kurt Halfyard had the following to say in his review:
A film that subtly uses the language of domestic drama to craft a realistic and true horror film is a brave thing to attempt with a first feature. Somebody, please, get Guillermo del Toro in contact with Philip Tegstedt because here is a young director with the chops to make a The Devil's Backbone or a Pan's Labyrinth if he were given the finances and freedom to do so. In fact, he may well already have done the former with Marianne.
Marianne is a slow, remorseless parade around a pitiful, broken man trying and failing to hold himself together, and while many of the plot beats revolve around Krister's ghost you could take her out altogether and the film would probably still stand up. (...) Like the best ghost stories, Marianne touches on something deeper and more truthful than simple boo scares; the fear that if we do something bad, someone or something will make sure we get punished, and the nagging suggestion that maybe we deserve it. And it haunts you, sinks beneath your conscious thoughts and lodges there for a long, long time, despite the lack of blood and thunder.
Though the film got plenty of rave reviews in 2011 (!!), attempts to release it internationally have since been plagued by a specter of a different sort: piracy. Illegal downloading basically labeled the movie a non-investment to distributors worldwide.
That situation finally changed last month when the film was released on VOD in the United Kingdom.