Valkoinen Peura (The White Reindeer) (1952)
Critic Reviews for Valkoinen Peura (The White Reindeer)
Pirita represents a primal, pagan animal spirit... A feminine spirit resistant to the encroachment of Christianity and of more patriarchal values. The taming of her - an allegory of Sámi history - is as much tragedy as triumph.
Blomberg makes the most of the Lapland locations: the wooded plains, seen under feet of snow, are forbidding-the horizon always seems distant. Against this backdrop, the movie's conflicts feel especially primal.
Be careful what you wish for is the moral of this captivating 1952 fantasy horror, a rare genre movie from Finland.
With [Mirjami] Kuosmanen featuring in nearly every scene, this is a film worth citing when people suggest that powerful, complicated female leads in horror films are a new thing.
Audience Reviews for Valkoinen Peura (The White Reindeer)
The supernatural horror elements are extremely odd. It's a vampire reindeer film from Finland. I'm not sure, but on first viewing it seemed like there were plot holes in regards to whether the woman (Kuosmanen) was cursed with vampirism from the day she was born, or if her visit to the shaman was really what unleashed the killer instinct. The whole tale is really one of those myths with the lesson of being careful what you wish for. A good portion of the film is light and romantic, but the newly wed woman becomes lonely and disgruntled when her shepherd husband is constantly away from home. It is definitely not the sort of film you see every day. In the small crew, the star Mirjami Kuosmanen (who was married to director/cinematographer/editor Erik Blomberg) is co-credited as writer with Blomberg as well as being in charge of makeup and wardrobe. With the locations in Finland, the costuming, and the prevalence of reindeer I felt like I was getting a secret look into the Nordic culture where Santa Claus may live.
A visually stunning film set in the mythical Lapland. A newly-wed woman grows tired of her husband constantly going away on business trips and decides to seek the help of the local shaman (who, unfortunately, is portrayed as a bit of a loopy drunkard, which has since then become a terrible stereotype) to rid her of her loneliness. The shaman performs a spell which makes her irresistible to all reindeer herders...just not in the way she would have hoped.
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