Movie Review (Another Hole in the Head Film Festival): Victim of Love

December 29, 2020

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at [email protected] He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

A brooding psychosexual character study that oftentimes flirts with the surreal, Danish film Victim of Love offers striking visuals and gripping performances. Writer/director Jesper Isaksen has crafted a fine debut feature with a brooding, hypnotic flair.

Danish-American man Charly (Rudi Køhnke) is staying in the same Copenhagen hotel where his girlfriend Amy (Louise Cho) disappeared a few months earlier. He hits alcohol and cocaine hard, spending seemingly more time under their influences than actually looking for Amy, which he tells others is his reason for being there. Hotel bartender Felicija (Siff Andersson) is a goth denizen of the city nightlife, and she takes Charly on a whirlwind night of partying, and the two eventually wind up in bed together.

Charly is haunted by visions of both Amy and a masked murderer, some appearances on the simple side and others much trippier. When Felicija begins to play in his visions too, the proceedings get much darker and more sinister.

Charly is a difficult character to get behind as compared with traditional protagonists, but Køhnke’s portrayal of this complex man is undeniably terrific. He and Andersson have crackling chemistry together, with the latter inhabiting her streetwise character with a nice balance of toughness and vulnerability.

Isaksen creates a neon-soaked dreamworld inhabited by characters who walk a fine line between fascinating and unlikeable, peppered with hallucinatory sequences reminiscent of David Lynch and David Cronenberg, without ever overstepping into homage. He builds a pensive, heavy atmosphere with an alluring visual approach.

Victim of Love, in English and Danish with English subtitles, is a complex film that rewards viewers with its bold flair, stirring visuals and cinematography, and captivating performances. It’s a hallucinatory trip well worth taking.

Victim of Love screened as part of the Another Hole in the Head Film Festival, which ran online from December 11–27, 2020. 

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