Movie Review: Valkoinen Peura (The White Reindeer) Finnish Horror Movie 1952

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I thought I would try and mix some things up a bit here and review a movie a bit different…or at least something most of my American readers may have never heard of.  The White Reindeer is a well regarded Finnish horror movie taking place in the Lapland region of Finland and uses the myth and legends of the people of Lapland as the basis of the story.

Written by the star of the movie Mirjami Kuosmanen and directed by her husband Erik Blomberg who also shares writing credits the movie centers around a young woman named Pirita (Kuosmanen) who unbeknownst to her was born a witch by a witch.  As Pirita grows into an adult she is pursued romantically by a reindeer shepherd named Aslak who does eventually marry her.

Being married to a reindeer shepherd must be the equivalent of a housewife in America being married to a truck driver where the husband is away a lot and so the wife looks for cock in other locations.  While Aslak is gone away for a few weeks to herd the reindeer, Pirita goes to a shaman to seek help with her love life so he brews her up a love potion which he states will make her irresistible to any man.  Apparently the shaman sees that he is dealing with more than a woman with an overactive pussy because some weird shit goes down in that tent.  The shaman then instructs her to make the potion work she must kill the first living thing she sees at some alter out in the middle of nowhere.

As a result the first thing she sees on her way home is her husband playing with the young white reindeer her husband had left with her before he left.  Pirita takes the reindeer to the strange alter and sacrifices the animal and what happens next kind of ventures into John Landis territory.  Pirita essentially turns into a vampire that can shape shift into a White Reindeer.

Now this may seem silly to audiences today thinking the movie is about a killer, blood sucking reindeer but they would be wrong.  What happens is that the reindeer hunters find White Reindeer rare and thus they are very sought after.  As a result this makes Pirita irresistible not only in her human form but also in a way she can lure away hunters and then shape shift back into vampire form and kill them.

I found White Reindeer an interesting horror movie and something you would not normally see unless you just live here in Finland.  The film shows the interesting culture of the people of Lapland with their reindeer racing, their legends, parts of their cultural habits and their apparel.  Also there were several scenes with the way the director shot some of its scenes that really gives the viewer a sense of something sinister or of isolation such as the sacrificial scene at the pagan alter I thought was very effective.

Story wise, The White Reindeer isn’t revolutionary but then again it was also 1952 and for that time I can see how it would be something new and fresh.  Also do not be mistaken that this movie about a vampiric reindeer should be a SyFy channel movie.  It is much better than that and deserves a watch.  The one thing I think that holds the movie back is the musical score as some of it sounds a little too romantic or non-threatening.  Then again it is 1952 and I don’t know of any metal bands around that time that would be producing a horror soundtrack.

I highly recommend that you check out The White Reindeer when you can.  It runs around one hour and you can find it on YouTube with English subtitles.  Also the lead actress Mirjami Kuosmanen is truly a great beauty that would have rivaled any of the Hollywood starlets of her time.

RATING:

4/5

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