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#28. Sauna - Review

Sauna 2008Sauna is the great WTF experience I have so desperately wanted lately. Taking place over 400-years ago, Sauna begins at the end of a 25-year long war between Finland and Russia. Four men, two Russian and two Finnish, are sent out to plot new borderlines as part of the reconstruction effort, and must cross-endless miles of malodorous swampland to reach their goal. The Finnish team, two brothers Erik and Knut, struggle to maintain an amiable relationship with their new Russian comrades, while at the same time must come to terms with the atrocities they committed during wartime.

The events of Sauna are both horrifying and, I must admit, a little bewildering. While I am not completely certain what exactly was going on throughout the film, I do know that it terrified me. Reminiscent of some of the more regarded Japanese horror films of the past 15 years or so, Sauna takes care to fashion a truly ominous atmosphere, while somewhat tripping over its storytelling. Perhaps with another viewing, which I would be more than willing to participate in, I would more capably wrap my little brain around the melancholy happenings of Sauna, but until then all I can do is confess that while I didn’t fully comprehend everything I witnessed, I enjoyed every second of it.

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