When her latest novel flops, best-selling crime writer Robin Richards (Andréa Winter) goes to the Swedish countryside to regain inspiration. This was not so much her choice but rather that of her publisher. She meets quite a group of strange characters— Hans, her driver who is her most obsessive fan, his jealous wife, and the unhinged man who owns the farm that’s hosting her. She feels completely out of place and reflects this in the way she dresses which has nothing in common with rural life but rather she always seems to be ready for the glamorous life of big cities. Robin also learns just how dangerous strangers can be.
Director Patrick von Barkenberg (who also plays Robin’s boyfriend) gives us his debut feature that is visually beautiful and strangely funny due to his choice of offbeat humor. It is Andrea Winter who keeps the film grounded and who holds our attention throughout. It is both tightly wound and loose.
This is an actor’s film with both Winters and Christer Cavallius as Hans giving excellent performances that bring their characters to life. They stand juxtaposed as well developed caricatures—the priss and the pervert and this is what gives the film its success. The two play awkwardly off and against each other and with the subtle indication that everyone living on the farmland is strange.
It is fun watching Robin run around aimlessly, burdened with writer’s block, and placed in some rather precarious situations over and over again.
“Blood Paradise” has many intentionally uncomfortable moments structured with intentionally stilted dialog and off-beat juvenile humor but it is barely a horror film.
It begins with an intriguing premise: the scandalous writer forced to confront the weirdness of rural Sweden and while there are weak moments, I enjoyed it and am thinking about watching it again this week.