All hail Netflix for popularising – yes, that’s not always a bad thing – the Nordic noir genre!
As far as I’m concerned, Scandinavian crime series are among the best things TV has to offer right now. Complex, dark and just the right amount of depressing, they always keep me on the edge of my seat.
And no other Nordic drama intrigued me as much as The Valhalla Murders.
The story is set in Iceland, where unassuming Reykyavik police officers are unexpectedly forced to deal with several similar murders.
The main protagonists are detectives Kata (Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir), a solid and reliable single mother, and Arnar (Björn Thors), a mysterious officer recalled from Oslo with a somewhat dark past.
Together they try to shed light on the macabre killings and connect the hidden dots that lead them to a former orphanage, located in what might just be one of the most remote and unwelcoming places on Earth.
Add to that, an unexpected reshuffling of staff within the police force and a suspected case of group rape involving someone close to the main characters and you have a story for the ages.
But what I found most compelling in The Valhalla Murders is that I could not help but to sympathise with whoever was behind the murders.
At the risk of anticipating too much, bear in mind that the victims, apparently hailing from very different worlds, are all joined by a dark and wicked past. What makes their ancient deeds even more monstruous is the fact that there were children involved.
The whole series is a constant game of hide and seek and not just between the police and the criminals, but also between a mother and her child, a man and his father, a victim and his past. Nothing is really as light as the snow accompanying every single scene of the series.
The same snow that, at the same time, seems to enlighten both the police and the viewers before blinding them with unforeseen and brute force.