A well-paced and strongly acted Nordic crime drama
The popularity of Nordic noir shows little signs of abating and although False Trail is slightly more Lynda La Plante than Dragon Tattoo it is also a briskly efficient, smoothly executed murder mystery. The flamboyance and intensity that marked recent examples of the genre (Headhunters, Jackpot etc.) is replaced by a methodical, tightly controlled old school thriller in which personal issues muddy the waters of a murder investigation.
Entitled Jagarna 2 in Sweden, False Trail marks a satisfying reunion of director Kjell Sundvall and lead actor Rolf Lassgård (TV's original Kurt Wallander) fifteen years after their collaboration on, you've guessed it Jagarna (The Hunters). Lassgard's dogged policeman Erik Backstrom reluctantly returns from Stockholm to the small rural community in the north of Sweden where he grew up. A woman's car has been found missing. There are traces of blood and fears of the worst. In the eyes of local policeman Torsten (Peter Stormare) it is a simple matter of arresting a bothersome psycho whose fingerprints are all over the car. Naturally, it isn't that straightforward and Sundvall points the finger of suspicion in some intriguing directions from the missing woman's stalker to the righteous, hotheaded Torsten, his jealous wife and her sixteen year-old son who happens to be Erik's nephew. This is a community built on shifty glances, half truths and the guilty secrets of a misbegotten past.
Familiarity with the earlier Jagarna film might add more emotional resonance to the sequel but False Trail is well-paced and strongly acted with the piercing sunlight and beautiful landscapes contrasting nicely with the monstrous acts that unfold in them. Fans of The Killing will not be disappointed.
Selected release from Fri 14 Dec