in about 100 words or less
Denmark 126m, B&W
Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer; Cast: Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen, Cay Kristiansen, Preben Lerdorff Rye
Ordet is a beautifully shot and deliberately slow-paced film with surreal qualities which appear to be related to the intended religious significance of the story, but which are equally relevant in establishing mood in the horror genre. Although much could be made about the power of faith from the point of view of the fundamentalist Christian characters in this film, Ordet might also be viewed as an exploration of the relationship between mental health and a belief in God via the explicit depiction of insanity through the son who believes he is Jesus Christ. Notwithstanding interpretation, it is amusing to watch the resurrection and ponder how close this film came to establishing the zombie genre more than a dozen years before Romero. Considering Vampyr (1932), it is interesting to speculate if thoughts of the undead had ever crossed Dreyer’s creative mind during the shooting of this film (Klaus Ming April 2010).