Written by Kate Kenney
The Guilty is a tight, tense thriller with several twists that, depending on your familiarity with the sensibilities of the far north murder mystery, will take you utterly by surprise. The story follows Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren) through a night on his dull assignment as an emergency services responder. This position is a demotion for him and the reason behind it hangs like a pall over his conversations and calls. When a call comes in from a woman who’s been kidnapped, his entire night changes as the clock ticks down to find her and her kidnapper. The entire film takes place within the confines of the office and Möller makes the absolute most of the tight spaces and strange emptiness of the rooms. Watching Asger scramble to find the right people to be his eyes and ears to the tragedy unfolding outside the office is an incredible exercise in building tension.
Cedergren serves up a masterful performance as Asger, centering a challenge for any actor with a fascinating mixture of stoicism and emotion. His carefully crafted reactions to the twisting tale that develops will have you digging your fingernails into the edge of your seat. Director Gustav Möller also develops one of the greatest soundscapes this year, crafting an intricate experience that will leave your ears straining for every little clue you can get. This Danish film won the Audience Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and will almost certainly be developed into a far inferior American remake. So, see the original now so you know exactly how good it is before it’s ruined.