The Northman

The Northman ★★★½

I envy whoever gets to keep the prop head of dead Willem Dafoe. That thing would be sweet on a mantlepiece.

As for the film, The Northman (aka Viking Hamlet) does not disappoint. It is violent yet poetic, grounded yet mythical, simple yet nuanced. It's impressive what Robert Eggers was able to pull off here while also aiming for more mainstream appeal. One should see it in theaters immediately. It's great on a big screen, transporting you into an authentic-feeling Viking revenge tale that's been told of for centuries. Granted, some studio interference can be felt (namely with some of the visual effects and the climatic fight scene, which, ideally, could have been like a more visceral combination of Eastern Promises, Justin Kurzel's Macbeth, William Friedkin's The Hunted, and Revenge of the Sith), but this is clearly made by the guy who made The Witch and The Lighthouse. The directing, acting, writing, cinematography, production design, visuals, and action are of the high quality you'd expect from Eggers and co. at this point.

There's more that could be said, but for now all that really needs to be said is that someone has got to let Eggers remake Nosferatu as soon as possible. It probably won't eclipse the Murnau or Herzog films, but that doesn't matter—we need to see Anya Taylor-Joy as Mina/Lucy/Ellen and Willem Dafoe as Renfield/Knock. At the very least, someone should let him make a traditional adaptation of Dracula; his sensibilities mixed with influence from both Nosferatu films would make for something truly special.

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