Film: To Freddy (Til Freddy)
Director: Viljar Bøe
Writer: Viljar Bøe
Starring: Nicolai Narvesen Lied, Viljar Bøe and Simen Stensheim Jørgensen
This was another film that I heard about thanks to the Nightmares Film Festival. I had Jaime go through the movies that were slated to play to pick out the ones that interested her. She said this premise did, not realizing that it was from Norway. Regardless, we still watched this together. The synopsis here is Freddy (Nicolai Narvesen Lied) is going on one last camping trip with his closest classmates. Before the trip, he finds a box with letter that claim to tell the future. The message is clear: one of his friends is going to kill him.
We start this off with getting images of who we will learn to be Freddy while he’s in the woods. He’s down by a river and it is a bit disorienting. The movie then shifts over to him walking with his best friend Viljar (Viljar Bøe). Viljar was going to send him a snap, but couldn’t find him on SnapChat. Freddy reveals that he deleted it and is trying to not use his phone anymore. He was freaked out when he was talking about something and then the ads were tailored to that. What I like here is that we’re establishing that he’s a bit paranoid.
These two join the rest of their group. There is Simen (Simen Stensheim Jørgensen), Nicholas (Nicholas Vedi) and Peter (Peter Emong). It appears that they’re going to be graduating soon and they’re all talking about their outlook. Nicholas reveals that he smokes a lot of pot and that it might be affecting his health. Simen suggests they have one last hurray and go camping together. It is then agreed upon by the group.
Viljar finds a box in the woods that is addressed to Freddy. He brings it to him and at first, he doesn’t think it is for him. Inside of it are letters that have times and dates as to when they should be opened. The first one tells him to roll a dice and it predicts what the four rolls will be. When it comes true, the next is to shuffle a deck of cards and it predicts what the first four from there will be. This intrigues Freddy, as what he reveals to the group is that he’s worried about the future. He just wishes he knew how it would end up so he didn’t have to. When given that opportunity, he is hesitant at first.
When he reads deeper into the letter, it is stating that the writer is from the future and that he has to go on this camping trip. The problem though is that one of his friends is going to kill him during it. This spooks him and he continues to follow the letters. This following becomes an obsession. Viljar wants him to stop and forget about it, but the deeper he goes, the crazier things become.
That’s where I want to leave my recap of the movie as that gets you to the point where things really start to take off. The first thing that I should go over is that I think many will not consider this to be a horror movie. I even questioned that when I got to the end of it. It would for sure fall into the adjunct category for me. I would though consider it horror enough, because of the fact that we have these 5 guys, out in the woods and there is this sense of foreboding that comes from these letters to Freddy and the dread that comes with it as things escalate.
What I really like here though is the character of Freddy. I like that we establish early on that he’s scared of the future. He wants to know that things will be okay. There’s even a brief moment that he is skeptical of the box and its letters. There is so much proof there that he can’t overlook it. The distrust of his phone and being monitored plays into this as well. When he’s given the opportunity to do the things that he does, he gets sucked in. This really becomes a descent into madness for him as he continues to delve into this.
This movie also has a feel of another movie I watched at the Nightmares Film Festival a couple years a back of LaPlace’s Demon. There’s not a lot there, but I love the idea that the future is determined and that no matter what, it will happen. That one really focuses on it much more on it where this movie really feels more like self-fulfilling prophecies. This really isn’t a spoiler, but we never learn who wrote the letters or how they came to be left where they were. What the movie makes me wonder, would this all still happen? Or because of what he’s doing, the events are put into motion. There is a part that the writer of them knew that he got them in his possession, he would follow through.
I’ve really delved into the character of Freddy, so I should say that I really like Lied’s performance. It is interesting that his character becomes quite confident early into the trip, but there’s a moment where he thinks he loses a letter and we see panic. From there, he becomes sweaty and manic as he descends into madness. Viljar is the one who found the box to start and he really is changed by this trip as well. It is interesting that Bøe also wrote and directed this. I do like him as the best friend here. These two are the best performances. That’s not to say that I didn’t like Jørgensen, Vedi and Emong. I think they’re all distinct in rounding this out for what is needed.
Aside from that, there isn’t a lot else to go into. I like the setting being in the woods and the isolation that comes with that. We don’t get a lot in the way of effects, but we really don’t need it. What we get looks good. There is a creepy scene with masks that I liked. There would then just be the soundtrack which I thought fit the movie for what was needed.
Now with that said, this is an interesting movie for sure. There are some that I could see questioning if this is horror or not, but I think where things end up and the sense of foreboding make it enough for me. This is an interesting premise that doesn’t need a lot of fleshing out, but we get enough. The acting is what really carries it and it does feel like a group of friends to me. Everything else just worked for what was needed in my opinion. I’d rate this as a good movie actually. I will say that it is from Norway, so it is mostly in Norwegian. If that’s an issue, I would avoid this one. I did watch it with subtitles on.
My Rating: 8 out of 10