Norwegian actress Renate Reinsve took the world by storm in 2021 when she starred in, dazzling everyone with her lead appearance in Joachim Trier’s “The Worst Person in the World.” It wasn’t her debut performance, but it sure felt like it and was a major breakthrough nonetheless. Her performance earned her the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress and a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and she’s taken off ever since. She returns in 2023 for the new Sundance indie horror “Handling The Dead,” which reunites her with her “Worst Person In The World” co-star Anders Danielsen Lie.
“Handling The Dead” was announced today as part of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic competition section. The film is the feature-length directorial debut of Norwegian filmmaker Thea Hvistendahl, and it is based on the novel by acclaimed writer John Ajvide Lindqvist, the author behind the classic vampire horror, “Let the Right One In” and the short story “Border,” later adapted by filmmaker Ali Abbasi.
The film’s events begin during a scorching summer day in Oslo when a strange electric field and collective migraine spread across the city; TVs, lightbulbs, and electronics go haywire, and suddenly, it’s all over. Except for one thing: the incident has awoken the newly deceased.
Whether that’s zombies or not is unclear, but the film has been said to be a horror drama, so it may not veer too far into the typical genre field (plus, it’s not in the typical Midnights section of Sundance, where horrors generally go). Lindqvist co-wrote the script along with the director.
Here’s the Sundance synopsis:
On a hot summer day in Oslo, the newly dead awaken. Three families faced with loss try to figure out what this resurrection means and if their loved ones really are back. Based on the book by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
The aforementioned Renate Reinsve stars alongside Bjørn Sundquist, Bente Børsum, Anders Danielsen Lie, and Bahar Pars.
Neon is distributing the film and only says “coming soon” of a release date, but that may mean perhaps just a little bit after its Sundance premiere in January. Watch the teaser trailer below.