Over the last few years, there’s been an explosion of Nordic thrillers on English-speaking screens. There’s just something about the combination of bleakly beautiful landscapes, thick knitted jumpers and Scandinavian languages that excites us. Especially when it’s linked to dastardly tales of crime. They’re the types of shows that BBC4 shows, things like The Killing, Wallander and Borgen. And now you can have your own Nordic Noir programming with Arrow Films’ newest DVD line. Next out on DVD, released on 15th June, is The Spider (otherwise known as Edderkoppen).
The Spider could have just used its 1949 setting for the corruption of the black market. But instead it doesn’t shy away from the fact that this is the post-war period, with World War II hanging over every moment of the series. There are constant reminders, questioning people as to what they did during the war – fight, run away or collaborate – and remembering old acquaintances who died. The time period is so integral to The Spider that even the camera seems infused with sepia. It’s a massive change to the normal cold blue light of Nordic dramas.
At its heart, The Spider is a quintessential film noir with a Scandinavian twist. It takes the true story of reporters exposing corruption and turns it into a tense, engrossing drama. It might be fifteen years old this year, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive than its more recent Nordic Noir stablemates. The DVD set is a bit light, with no special features bar a few trailers on the first disc, but it’d be a worthy addition to any TV DVD collection.
The Spider is out on DVD on 15th June.