A slow-burning, maudlin piece of filmmaking that is more melodrama than out-and-out thriller, The Hour Of The Lynx is the latest title to pop up on Arrow’s Nordic Noir series of releases.

To call it noir is probably pushing it a bit, as the film instead centres on love, loss, family, religion and a whole host of thought-provoking subject matter, wrapped up in the tale of a nasty little runt, housed in a medical/mental facility after bludgeoning an old couple to death.

Sofie Grabol (best known as Sarah Lund in hit series The Killing) plays the lead here, a tough-talking priest brought in to try and get through to the youngster after being practically begged to help by scientist Lisbeth (Signe Egholm Olsen).

Turns out Lisbeth has been conducting an experiment on the inmates – giving them a pet each in the hope that it unlocks emotional warmth, and gives them a much-needed connection.

Whether that is in any way plausible I have no idea (it seems unlikely), but the young killer (played convincingly by Frederik Christian Johansen) strikes up a relationship with a cat – a relationship that, obviously, will end in tears.

In steps Grabol’s Helen to try and save the day (or at least provide some closure), although the film is far from the ‘race against time’ I have seen pronounced in some blurb on the internet.

In fact, The Hour Of The Lynx is very much a film that requires patience – anyone expecting slam-bang thrills should stay well clear.

Yes, it starts off strongly, as Drengen appears at the home of an elderly couple before attacking them without reason, but from then on it is very talky – in fact, the film unsurprisingly appears to have been based in part on a stage play

But if you’re after strong performances, solid direction and a film that goes from being on the surface a straight crime/psychological thriller into something a whole lot deeper, then this is for you.

Building to a climax that I actually found pretty moving – although taking a very meandering journey to get there, The Hour Of The Lynx gets my recommendation.

DVD Review: The Hour Of The Lynx
A thought-provoking journey into the mind of a young killer
The Good
  • Excellent performances all round
  • Builds to a moving climax
The Bad
  • A very, very slow pace
3.5Overall Score
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.