Victim of Love
victim of love | esper isaksen | rudi kohnke | siff andersson | louise cho | thriller | denmark | nightmares film festival | better horror | paw terndrup | jens blegaa | sabrina ferguen | thomas hou mandsfeldt | carsten brakner | victoria mijares watts | gemma hoegh
Film: Victim of Love
Director: Jesper Isaksen
Writer: Jesper Isaksen
Starring: Rudi Køhnke, Siff Andersson and Louise Cho
This was the first movie that I watched as part of the Nightmares Film Festival for 2020. Much like I try to do with all of the films here, I came in blind as to what this was about. The synopsis is Charly (Rudi Køhnke) is looking for his American girlfriend, Amy (Louise Cho), who disappeared under mysterious circumstances during a vacation stay at a hotel in Copenhagen.
For this movie, we get the credits over top of some images that make a bit more sense as things go on. The only other aspect that is not in the synopsis is the fact that Charly is really into drugs and that is pretty much the only thing keeping him going. Amy disappeared in the hotel they are staying and he’s been in touch with her mother, Rachel, to find her.
Charly goes around looking for evidence or to see if anyone has seen her. This brings him to the woman running the front desk of Felicija (Siff Andersson). She isn’t very helpful though. Charly and Amy when they stayed here previously were in room 23 and now he is in 22. He hears strange things coming from the room next door and also sees a big guy leaving at one point. This person is wearing a creepy skull like mask that is partially red.
To re-iterate something, Charly is using a lot of drugs to keep going. That is from drinking to cocaine to pills or whatever he can to just not crash. He meets with a bartender at a nearby place. His name is Frederik (Paw Terndrup). It is while he’s there that Felicija takes Charly with her. We see that she’s a modern woman and does what she wants. She takes him to a club where he thinks he sees Amy and he follows her to the bathroom downstairs.
As it seems like things are going no where with his investigation, Charly gets images of something bad happening to Amy and he keeps seeing this man in a mask as well. He encounters Joe Ludwig (Jens Blegaa), a private investigator hired by Rachel. He also goes to a strip club where he meets Chloe (Sabrina Ferguen). She says some things that strike a nerve with him and we also see more of his true nature when he gets into it with some guys from the bar. Amy also might not be the saint that Charly portrays her to be either. Regardless, what happened to her?
That’s where I want to leave my recap for this movie and it gets you up to speed about what you’d need to know without going into spoilers. This really is a character study of Charly and really less about the investigation itself. We really get a crash course into this guy from the opening scenes. He’s having nightmares of something bad happening to Amy and he’s using alcohol and drugs to cope. I think that the look of Køhnke and the make up really make him look like a guy who is strung out. It was early on it made me wonder, is this life all the time or is he at wit’s end to find Amy?
Since I stated how this is a character study of him, we really get this true nature as things go on. There’s the aspect of his anger. We see him beat two guys into a bloody pulp. This gets quite viscous. His interaction with Chloe also takes an interesting turn. I really liked through a reveal we get through Joe and what it leads to though to really solidify everything. I have to give credit to Køhnke, he had a really good performance here.
What I do have to say though is that the movie does become a bit boring. It leans in hard early on that this is going to be an investigation into finding out what happened to Amy. The problem is that Charly really has nothing to go on and it is a lot of him going to the bar or staying in his room to drink and do drugs. Things make sense in the end and it does all click, but the movie did lose me a bit there in the middle to get there. I will say though, I do want to see this again now that I know where it goes as there are little things I want to see if it hints toward the end.
There are two aspects to this movie that I love though and the first is how this is shot. There are some exteriors that get a bit comic book looking, but that didn’t bother me. The lighting choices were really good in my opinion. There is a red light that is used quite a bit that feels very giallo/Bava/Argento-esque. If I have a gripe here, it would be that they use way too many dream sequences and it does take me out of it there as well. There are some really good practical effects aside from that.
The other part I loved was the soundtrack. It really has an electronic sounding score that really just got my anxiety going. I think it pairs nicely with the hallucinations that Charly is having. It is a bit too heavy for me to listen to while writing, but it really is effective for what they’re using it for with this movie.
Then the last thing to go over would be the acting. I’ve already said how well I thought Køhnke did. Andersson is quite attractive in a leather kind of way. What I like about her performance is that she doesn’t care about social norms or standards. This movie is from Denmark, but watching this as an American, I really like how she plays Felicija. Cho is also good looking and does well at being this specter that is haunting Charly. Aside from that, the rest of the cast rounded this out for what was needed.
So when with that said, this movie I ended up really liking some aspects of it. I thought the basic premise was good. The performances from Køhnke and Andersson were solid along with those around them. I really enjoyed the cinematography, effects and the soundtrack to the movie. I do feel that it does get a bit slow in the middle where I wanted more. Now that I know where it ends up though, I do want to revisit this now. I’d rate this movie as above average for sure. Be advised, part of this movie is in Danish, so I had to watch with subtitles. If that’s an issue, I would avoid this movie.
My Rating: 7 out of 10