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The White Reindeer PG rating

The wife of a reindeer herder acquires a potion to makes her an irresistible object of desire, but at a terrible cost, in this extraordinary vampiric fairy-tale set amongst the starkly beautiful fells of Finnish Lapland.

Horror 1953 68 mins

Director: Erik Blomberg

Overview

The directorial debut of Finnish cinematographer Erik Blomberg, The White Reindeer is one of world cinema’s criminally under-seen masterpieces. A vampiric fairy-tale set amongst the starkly beautiful fells of Finnish Lapland, Blomberg combines an almost documentary filming style with avant-garde experimentation to produce a dreamy art-house horror film without compare.

A newly-married young woman, Pirita (Mirjami Kuosmanen), becomes frustrated and lonely as her husband, a reindeer herder for a small Arctic village, spends much of his time away from home in devotion to his work. Desperate for affection, she visits a shaman who offers a potion that makes her an irresistible object of desire, but there is a terrible cost. Pirita becomes a bloodthirsty shapeshifter who lures men out into the barren wilderness where she consumes them. With its portrayals of gender inequality, societal pressures and sexual anxiety (represented through animal transformation, echoes of Jacques Tourneur’s Cat People…), The White Reindeer is a timeless classic that deserves to be rediscovered and recognised as a defining film in the horror and fantasy genres.