I’m a big fan of so-called Scandi-Noir, but I haven’t watched much recently. I saw all the classics, The Killing, The Bridge, as well as Beck and Wallander, but the latest I have seen was based on a true story, The Investigation. The other night, realising I hadn’t seen any new series for a while I started watching Darkness:Those Who Kill. I didn’t know anything about it, whether it was going to be separate stories within each episode or a serial, but I settled to watch it.
Spoiler alert for episode 1 – if you’re going to watch, don’t read on!
The opening scene had a grim man going to the house he had shared with his wife, which was in the middle of being packed up – there was no-one there so we didn’t know if she’d left him or he her, whether they were moving house, or whether she’d died. He was a fairly typical leading character, enigmatic, with little in this first scene to give much clue about what sort of person he was. The next scenes had him going to the police station, long dark corridors, gloomy rooms, lighting casting strange shadows, a fairly predictable setting. His two colleagues, an older man and a woman, were also fairly inexpressive, but they were all working on a missing girl case, so maybe that’s why they were grim. A senior officer came in and told him that he was being taken off the case and would be working on a shooting. It came as no surprise that he ignored her and carried on, it was also not a surprise that he pulled out old files to look for a connection with previous cases… in fact nothing about this episode was surprising, it was all somehow very predicable. I could have guaranteed by now that the expert on serial killers who was called in would be an attractive but troubled young woman who did a lot of lip biting and obviously had some private trauma. There was a scene with a pretty young blond girl, immediately I knew she would be the next victim, and yes, she was. The grim detective looked at a map, came to an unknown conclusion, drove through a forest, stopped his car, walked to a small lake where of course a previous victim of the kidnapper had been disposed of.
It was so predictable! It was so dull! it was so clichéd! There was no pace, no light relief, no tension, no mystery, nothing quirky, nothing intriguing, it was predictable and the characters were stereotypes. I looked up reviews to see if I had missed something or was being unduly harsh or critical; some people enjoyed it, some people thought it was really good, but the majority of the reviews I looked at were also critical, but admittedly, not many as harsh as I was!