First Images from Finnish Series “Icebreaker” Will Give You Chills

Icebreaker series

March 19, 2024

News | TV

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:

Buckle up for a suspenseful journey aboard a stranded icebreaker ship in the chilling new Finnish mystery thriller series “Icebreaker.” Variety shared exclusive first-look photos that offer a glimpse into this haunting series packed with suspense, supernatural elements, and a determined heroine at its core.

A Perilous Rescue Mission

The story follows Sanna Tanner (Jessica Grabowsky), a committed Coast Guard officer leading a rescue team to a stranded icebreaker. Upon arrival, they encounter a group of survivors clinging to life – alongside a frozen body. As the days turn into a tense six-day ordeal, crew members start vanishing one by one, leaving a trail of mystery and fear in their wake. Could a vengeful spirit be lurking on the ship, orchestrating these disappearances?

A Chilling Blend of Mythology and Modern Mystery

Icebreaker creator Mia Ylönen promises a unique blend of classic whodunnit elements and a hint of something more sinister. She explains, “We wanted to build up slowly…but you get a sense there is something else going on. Something is lurking on this ship, but we don’t know whether it’s human or not.” The series delves into ancient pagan beliefs, particularly those surrounding the winter solstice, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the narrative.

Avoiding Clichés, Embracing the Unseen

Icebreaker avoids tired horror tropes like jump scares and excessive gore. Director Pete Riski emphasizes, “We still wanted that sense of otherworldliness, however. There is something odd about this place.” The true terror lies in the unknown, the unsettling atmosphere, and the ever-present danger lurking beneath the ice.

A Heroine Haunted by Loss

Sanna Tanner (Jessica Grabowsky) emerges as a compelling protagonist. Grappling with her own personal loss and the inability to move on, she mirrors the isolated situation of the stranded Icebreaker. Director Riski draws a parallel: “We always wanted it to be an icebreaker, not just any boat…Sanna pushes through everything to get where she wants, but in reality, she is stuck as well.”

A Remote Setting Breeds Suspicion and Secrets

The isolated setting on the Icebreaker fuels suspicion and distrust. Everyone harbors secrets, and the fight for survival intensifies the tension. Riski teases, “Everything is based on the characters…When I read the script of the first episode, I really wanted to know how it ends.”

Beyond the Chill: Glimmers of Humanity

Despite the pervasive sense of dread, Ylönen assures viewers that Icebreaker is not all doom and gloom. “There will be lighter moments as well…You do get to laugh…Some characters try to ease the tension, others have romantic feelings towards each other.” These lighter moments add a touch of humanity to the chilling narrative.

The Cast

Jessica Grabowsky stars alongside Eero Milonoff and Seidi Haarla. They are joined by Mikko Leppilampi, Karim Rapatti, Roderick Kabanga, and Johannes Holopainen.

A Legacy of Ripley and a Multi-Season Promise

Sanna’s unwavering determination resembles Ellen Ripley from the Alien franchise. Ylönen acknowledges this influence, stating, “One of our references was Ripley…We wanted our protagonist to be like this, too.” Icebreaker is envisioned as a multi-season saga, promising to resolve the central mystery while leaving room for future exploration.

A Chilling Must-See

Icebreaker” is a testament to smart filmmaking. The creators effectively utilize a combination of location shooting and virtual studios to bring this expansive story to life on a mid-budget. Prepare to be enthralled by Sanna’s harrowing journey, both on the Icebreaker and within herself. “Icebreaker” promises to be a must-watch for horror fans seeking a suspenseful and thought-provoking experience.

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