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A flawless thriller that would've made Hitchcock proud
Potty-Man1 August 2005
Nattevagten (1994) (aka Nightwatch) is a stylish thriller/horror from Denmark. I just finished watching it and I was blown away. It's the most edge-of-your-seat thriller I've seen since A Tale of Two Sisters. This guy, Ole Bornedal, plots like a devil! The way he sets everything up is masterful. The script is so tight, practically every element that's established is later on used. Reminded me of early Coen brothers scripts. It also provides the viewer with sufficient food for thought, what with its underlying themes about the connection between sex and death, man's self-destructive tendencies versus his instincts for survival and self-preservation, and more.

There are a lot of creepy sequences, and one or two boo moments. The soundtrack is excellent. There's one unforgettable scene where something hideous happens to the sounds of this cheery, boppin' Danish song that seems to repeat the same verse over and over again. The result is very disturbing.

The style contains a lot of Hitchcockian characteristics, and the movie is done so well that it would have made Hitchcock proud. Everything is pulled off perfectly, and not once do we hear the gears of the plot grinding.

Considering how little known this movie is, I was very pleasantly surprised. I highly recommend it.

P.S. The main actor has a striking resemblance to Ewan McGregor, who reprised the role in the American remake three years later.
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Superior thriller, consistent sense of dread keeps you on edge
hippiedj9 October 2001
Miramax made a huge mistake keeping this film from distribution in order to make an American version. Though I can only imagine how much more horrible the situation would have been if Nattevagten would have been dubbed in English!

This is a thriller that has it all: tense atmosphere guaranteed to give you the creeps, characters with believable quirks (though I doubt a prostitute would actually try to bury her face in a guy's lap in a crowded restaurant), and twists that were not actually expected or used as a weak plot point (Malice was a film that tried to throw the audience off and just wasted our time).

Martin (Nikolaj Waldau) takes on a night watchman job at a morgue to help pay for his law education, doesn't fully appreciate his relationship with his girlfriend (Sofie Graaboel) thanks in part to his jerky friend (Kim Bodnia) who keeps pulling Martin into silly bets. The loser has to get married, a rather interesting comment on the worth of relationships (something I believe the doomed moths trapped in a light fixture represent, along with other obvious meanings). Once at work, immediately things take on an eerie bent with Martin staring at himself in a glass window and out into the dark halls, his apprehension at having to use a key that's on the other end of a room full of corpses (that's one question I had, would they REALLY put that key there? Oh well, it DID make it more creepy!), and a body that tends to move around.

Turns out much of this is because of part of a bet gone basically wrong, but figuring out the complexities of the name switch pot point and the prostitute's connection to the killer makes for fun sorting! The climax tends to fall into some minor cliche with the heros being hogtied (with the time it took to do that the killer could have easily killed them), but the snappy pace keeps you from picking it apart as you are watching.

I was also impressed by the fact that not the entire cast was made up of youthful characters, and even reversed the sex appeal factor by not having a usual love scene--this time you basically get to see a rather naked Martin instead of the typical "let's try to find a way to get some breasts in here and there" scheme.

I was very impressed that Anchor Bay has released Nightwatch/Nattevagten in Danish with English subtitles, giving the film the respect it deserves. For those who gripe that subtitles are annoying, all I can say to you is that you are either lazy or need to brush up on your reading skills. I find that if I am absorbed in a good film I don't even realize I'm reading subtitles, it just works naturally. I was still engrossed in this film and was affected by its scary nature. It is quite astounding how superior and effective this film is when compared to 1998's remake, which director Ole Bornedal must have done with some hesitance.

At the time of writing these comments I haven't heard the DVD's audio commentary by Ole Bornedal (and I hear it's a rather honest commentary from him too), so I don't know if this matter is dealt with, but I noticed at one point the subtitles for Martin say "If this were a movie it would be called 'The Nightguard'...." So, then why is the English title Nightwatch?

Anyway, this is one thriller that succeeds practically on every level and people need to seek this one out! With all the processed Hollywood drek being pumped out every week in theatres and video, you owe it to yourself to go out and look for something NOT on the top hits list. Most likely this original Danish filming of Nightwatch won't easily be found as a rental, but I can assure you it's worth the purchase!

When you hear a foreign film is being remade for American audiences, see that foreign version first! It's amazing how many Americanized versions have fallen flat and yet Hollywood still chucks 'em out. So, while you can, for instance, see the foreign version of Insomnia before the American one surfaces....
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Excellent Danish thriller
Camera-Obscura24 October 2006
NIGHTWATCH (Ole Bornedal - Denmark 1994).

Danish writer-director Bornedal made an extremely suspenseful film about young law student Martin (Nikolaj Coaster Waldau) in Copenhagen who takes a job as the nightwatchman at a mortuary. A serial killer is lose on the streets, leaving behind a string of scalped female victims. Soon after Martin started his new job, one of the victims is brought in. That's when Martin meets homicide detective Peter Wörmer (Ulf Pilgaard). When one night one of the victims in the morgue is molested, Martin being the nightwatchman is suspected and soon finds himself trapped in a carefully planned frame-up.

Suspenseful, black humour, some necrophilia, this is superior genre movie-making. Bornedal goes for an ultra-realistic style and certainly employs some very skillfull set-ups that will have you on the edge of your seat. The performances are all-round perfect. In fact, I cannot recall a genre film of this kind with so many impressive performances. Superior scripting and character development by Bornedal helps this, but exceptional nevertheless. Kim Bodnia's role as Martin best friend Jens Arkiel got him noticed and he would later star in an equally impressive role in PUSHER (1996). Bornedal also directed an inferior American remake in 1997 starring Ewan McGregor.

Camera Obscura --- 9/10
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Superior serial-killing!
Coventry2 December 2007
You know how you often get extremely disappointed when you re-watch movies that petrified you as a kid and almost single-handedly were responsible for the development of your future phobias? Well, the Danish horror/suspense masterpiece "Nattevagten" is the symbolic exception that confirms the rule. More than a decade after its initially shocking & nightmarish impact, the film still is as unsettling as when it first came out. I saw this film shortly after its release in 1994, but most of the time my eyes & ears were covered by the sheets of my bed. In my defense, I was only 12 years old and the film is truly creepy! Although I now admit that the basic story and screenplay aren't entirely flawless, the atmosphere of "Nattevagten" is still indescribably tense and haunting. In order to make some extra money to finance his studies, 24-year-old Martin takes on a new job as the night watchman in the hospital's morgue. At the same time, however, the city is plagued by a maniacal serial killer who scalps his prostitute victims and drives the local police inspector Wörmer insane. Pretty soon the gruesomely deformed corpses end up in Martin's mortuary and he makes himself a suspect because of a series of strange betting games with his best friend Jens. Ole Bornedal's script isn't always 100% plausible and convincing, but at least it dares to feature some hugely controversial undertones (like necrophilia, religious blasphemy and under-aged prostitutes) and it patiently takes enough time to properly introduce the main characters and make them amiable. Some sequences are truly portentous and genuinely make the hairs on your arms & neck stand up straight, like when Martin hesitantly has to check out who set off the morgue's emergency alarm. There are several highlights of brilliant suspense in "Nattevagten", as well as prime examples of brilliant acting, beautiful art-direction and a truly peculiar sense of (pitch black) humor. There isn't that much gore or bloodshed in the film, but the few visceral moments are quite disturbing and in-your-face confronting. Great film, highly recommended to fans of superior horror cinema as well as the more established art-house fanatics. Also, Danish seems like a fascinating language to learn!
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Get yourself a radio
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews25 December 2009
I haven't watched any other film by Bornedal(including the American remake, which I understand is inferior to this), but he certainly nailed this one. From start to finish, this establishes and maintains an atmosphere and crafts a tension so thick, you *can't* cut it with a knife, you'd need a razor-blade. The editing and cinematography, with only a handful of exceptions, are inspired, using light and darkness immensely well, and utterly terrifying the audience. This is marvelously well-shot. The plot is excellent, and the twist is unexpected and has a relatively subtle, yet nicely effective reveal. Granted, when you think it all through, you do have to accept one or two details that strain credulity. Still, this is exciting and creepy whenever it attempts to be, and the relatable story and credible, well-developed, human characters are the driving force of the movie. Inbetween the sequences of suspense - to keep it from overstimulating the audience - there is humor, and every joke and gag are funny, none fall flat or try too hard. The acting is impeccable, every performance is spot-on. While there are jump-scares, most of the build-up pays off, big time. The music is excellent, and contains a good bit of rock, as well as a cue that they must have composed with Psycho in mind. There is a lot of disturbing content, some sexuality(including in dialog), brief nudity and a little bloody violence in this. The DVD comes with a well-done half-hour long behind-the-scenes featurette that covers the majority of the areas of production, and the theatrical trailer. I recommend this to every fan of horror. 8/10
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better than the remake
qtaran1112 December 2003
This is a great little film, with some genuinely creepy moments. Yes it is fairly predictable and not exactly original. However it makes up for its unoriginality with good acting and competant directing. The close-up of Ulf Pilgaard's (Inspector Wörmer) face when he realises that Sofie Gråbøl (Kalinka) was at the murder scene is both funny and terrifying as he weighs up his options. Anyway it is far superior to the US remake (it seems as though people are split on this: generally Americans like the remake, Europeans like the original). Stick with the original, 7/10.
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A bona fide MASTERPIECE!
The_Void14 October 2007
Well, I've wanted to see this film for so long that I actually put off watching it when I first got myself a copy for fear that it might disappoint. It is my greatest pleasure, therefore, to state that Nightwatch did not in any way disappoint me! This film is an out and out masterpiece and by far and away the best film I've seen in some time! Nightwatch is an intriguing blend of slow burn horror and murder mystery that manages thrills and surprises throughout. Denmark is not a country that springs to mind when thinking about horror films, but that hasn't stopped director Ole Bornedal from giving the best directors that the genre has to offer a real run for their money! The plot centres on a morgue where a young law student named Martin has just taken a job smoking, drinking, listening to rock music…and checking up on the corpses at night. It just happens that around the same time there's a maniac going round bumping off prostitutes, and of course the bodies are being taken to the morgue where Martin works, and that's where his troubles start as he finds himself getting caught up in the investigation...

The plot runs rather slowly, but the director ensures that the film is always interesting. Nightwatch is predominantly a horror thriller, but there are also themes of romance and comedy thrown into the mix which help to ensure that the film always feels fresh. Nightwatch is very high quality too, the acting is superb and it's clear that the director values this art form as the attention to detail is stunning and there isn't a shot in the movie that feels wrong or out of place. The characters are the most interesting thing about the film; they're all well defined, and that's a huge positive since the story really relies on that. The way that the director keeps the action mysterious and brooding means that the audience is always expecting something to happen, which ensures that the film is always full of tension. The director throws in a lot of red herrings and leads the audience astray before unleashing a well worked and really quite shocking twist towards the end. Overall, Nightwatch is everything you could want a thriller to be and more. There's not a great deal of films out there that are good as this one – so if you're lucky enough to come across a copy of Nightwatch, make sure you don't pass it up!
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Over rated!!
cusca20 May 2006
Somebody wrote here: '(Most) US reviewers find this mediocre or 'not interesting' and suggest we should see the American remake. European reviewers all like it! I like it too' Oh well, I'm European... so what? I love GOOD cinema of any kind but sadly I got really disappointed with this over-rated and feeble thriller. The story is so obvious and cliché-ridden as any Hollywood mainstream movie of this type and in the last 30 minutes it's like an idiot-plot compendium. It begins promising enough, there are a couple of superb scary scenes in the first half, tons of creepy atmosphere along the way (great locations and camera-work) and some decent performances. But that's all. OK, if the point with this movie was character development it fails with this, too. There's not a single complex or even sympathetic character. And that slight social commentary is uninteresting because it doesn't match with the thriller elements at all.

I haven't seen the American remake and I don't feel like to do it after seeing this one.
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Superb serial killer thriller!
Infofreak20 August 2002
'Nightwatch' is genuinely creepy Danish thriller full of suspense and interesting uncliched characters. Writer/director Ole Bornedal really knows how to hook a viewer by creating a likeable hero, then throwing him in the deep end. We really feel for Martin (Nikolaj Coster-Wadeu) and want to somehow see him get out of the dangerous mess he unexpectedly finds himself in! This movie has plenty of twists without getting gimmicky, and is helped enormously by the first rate cast of unknown (to an English language audience) actors, all of whom are well cast and convincing. One of the oddest things about this movie is that the American remake was not only inferior, but actually directed by Bornedal himself. American remakes of European movies are almost always poor, but this is one of the few examples of the same director being responsible for both. (One other springs to mind - George Sluizer's brilliant 'Spoorloos', remade by himself as the hugely disappointing 'The Vanishing'). Maybe this says a lot about Hollywood and the behind the scenes compromises movie audiences are rarely privy to. Anyway, steer clear of the crappy remake, and try to see this the superb original. Along with Amenabar's similarly taut and claustrophobic 'Tesis' it is one of the most effective and entertaining thrillers of the last decade.
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Simply a great genre movie.
Boba_Fett113824 September 2012
Even though this is not a perfect movie, it still does nothing really wrong either and this movie is basically being a great example of how to do a great and effective, more classic type, of thriller.

The movie combines many different genre elements and it keeps throwing you around. Is it going to be a horror? Is it going to be psychological thriller? Is it going to be a thriller involving a serial killer? Every time you think you have the movie all figured out it does something new and surprising. So really, it's best to simply watch this movie, without knowing what it truly is going to be all about.

And the good news about the movie as well is that it handles all of its many different themes effectively. When the movie is supposed to be horror like it's being really horror like with its atmosphere and buildup and when the movie is supposed to be more thriller like it's really being suspenseful and mysterious. What I also liked was that the movie was having some clear Giallo genre movie elements in it but then again, every modern horror/thriller involving a killer is being in one way or another derivative of the classic Italian Giallo genre.

It really was foremost the atmosphere of the whole movie that kept it going and suspenseful and interesting. The story itself, when you really start to dissect it is being quite standard for its genre. Yet the movie still manages to surprise you, due to the way it handles certain scenes and its typical genre ingredients, such as the look and feeling it has to it.

The movie also truly benefits from it that it has some good and likable characters in it. No cocky kids, or persons who think they know best and are afraid of nothing but instead some real people, with real fears and emotions. Yes, it might be true that the characters feel that way simply just because this is a Danish production, which of course has a different approach and feeling to it than a more standardized and stylized Hollywood production. Or perhaps it's just all due to some great casting and performances by its actors. This actually was being one of Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau's very first movie roles and he now days has a pretty decent acting career, with already also movies such as "Black Hawk Down", "Kingdom of Heaven" and the television series "Game of Thrones" behind his name.

Guess there is still plenty of stuff you could complain about, such as the lack of blood and gore, while there was plenty of opportunity for it, or that the killer gets revealed far before the finale and end of the movie but that doesn't take away anything from the fact that this is simply being a very effective genre movie, that's perfectly watchable, even on repeated viewings.

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There's no accounting for taste.
dbdumonteil31 January 2004
I guess I will be the only one to put disparagement on this beloved work which anybody on the site praises to the skies.Frankly I do not like it ,not at all.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:the screenplay is not that much strong,and the suspense is not really here.The first hour is boring and what remains is a spate of clichés:best/worst example:the killer,leaving "clues" on the dead body ,I've seen it (and read it) so many times that it leaves me amazed :how can a writer ,fifty years or so after Agatha Christie and co,still think of a such hackneyed idea?Giving the killer's identity or the key to the mystery half an hour or more before the ending can be rewarding (such was the case in "vertigo" (1958)),but here ,it destroys any fear:who could reasonably think that the hero -and his girl-could be really in jeopardy after that?Only a whodunit could sustain the interest till the very end.

But there's something more annoying:one of the characters is unbearable,the notorious Jens:the scene in the restaurant with the prostitute makes me sick:this bourgeois student really demeans this girl thanks to the power of his dough.Seeing him humiliate this human being while taking out his banknotes is one of the most despicable scenes I've seen in years ;and that does not make the "hero"-who's watching- nicer either.Besides guess who will be sacrificed when the others survive?Another gratuitous scene which comes at the most awkward moment involves Jens and his priest girlfriend in the church .It's really nauseating.That makes the very last scene even more disgusting.And you know ,I 'm far from being holier-than-thou.

I know a lot of people will disagree... but once more,there's no accounting for taste.
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McBuff19 July 2001
After decades of gritty social realism, lamebrained comedies and pretentious art trash came this fullblooded genre movie with plenty of blood and guts, thrills and chills with a talented cast of newcomers and a few surprises from a wellknown veteran. Humorist, TV-writer and stage director Ole Bornedal made his feature directing debut with this serial killer thriller starring the excellent Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as law student Martin who takes a job as a night watchman at the city morgue. At the same time, he is playing a dangerous game of challenges with reckless buddy Jens (Kim Bodnia, in a starmaking performance). Eventually he develops a kinship with determined police inspector Wörmer (a welcome change-of-pace for comedian Ulf Pilgaard, who has never been better), who is hunting the serial killer. No further revelations here, but check it out for yourself, BEFORE or even INSTEAD of renting the US remake with Ewan McGregor and Nick Nolte. This one is the genuine article, stylish and scary, admittedly with the usual plot holes and flaws, but a winner all the way with a couple of great laughs to vent the tension. The songs performed by Sort Sol adds just the right touch. That´s Ulrich Thomsen (the speaker from FESTEN) as the bully in the bar, by the way. ***½
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Stunned by the rave reviews
mamiwata21 May 2009
The lavish praise for this movie suggests that it was a very important film for its time and place. However, I find that Nattevagten/ Nightwatch isn't a particularly tense thriller.

The atmosphere of the morgue is interesting, and there are some suspenseful moments. But the narrative is lacking. There aren't enough suspects to go around. For a good whodunit, there need to be many viable suspects. I wanted to keep guessing, but I couldn't. In addition, a lot of the drama is created by people bumbling around making bad choices instead of getting caught in an expertly woven net.

The characters don't have much motivation for the things they do. An hour or so in, I didn't care what happened to them. The movie makes several joking references to clichés in Hollywood cinema, but doesn't seem that interested in breaking them.
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Am I the only person here who didn't think this was all that great?
godless savage1 October 2002
I really wanted to like this movie, I'd read about it for years before it finally came out on video here. Maybe my expectations were too high. Really, I don't know what everyone else is raving about here, I thought this was a very average thriller. I'm not surprised this was remade by hollywood, as the plot and characters and dialogue already seem quite "hollywood" influenced to me in this original, though with that careful european touch, which really just made the movie seems slow to me.

I thought this movie was going to be atmospheric and creepy, but there was hardly any atmosphere at all, the direction was pretty dry and by-the-numbers. There were maybe 15 minutes filled with scary going-ons, and the rest was quite slow and talky, with no sense of buildup or dread whatsoever. The red herrings and forshadowing were so obvious in this, it was like getting slapped in the face.

Like I said, I went into this with good intentions. I like horror from extreme gore, to atmospheric chillers, from "Dead Alive" to "The Others. This movie filled neither of these needs. Not so much bad, as just average. I suppose if all you watch is mainstream hollywood films, or if you liked that pointless piece of crud "With a Friend Like Harry", then this will probably seem great to you.
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Best Danish film ever?
Scream-1617 February 2000
This film is one of the most outstanding thrillers ever made. The fact that it comes from "little Denmark" does it even more impressive!

The main character, Martin, is a student, but has a job at the local hospital to make money. It`s a very disgusting place and Martin doesn`t know what he is going to experience...

The screenplay is tremendous, the characters as well, and no one who loves horror-movies can lose the chance to watch this film!

You`ll p**s in your pants and you`ll bite all your finger, but you`ll never regret you`d see it! Enjoy!

My vote: 10!
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A wasted opportunity
theskylabadventure8 October 2012
The current iteration of this film on DVD in the UK proudly claims on the cover that this is "Hostel meets Seven". They may just as well have written that it's "The Social Network meets Weekend at Bernie's" - it's about a student and involves dead bodies. I mention this up front in the hope of sparing those of lesser cynicism than I from being totally misled about the movie.

In Nightwatch, a truly inspired set up and a fantastic opening 20 minutes is quickly squandered and we're left with a murder mystery by numbers. Our protagonist, Martin, takes a job as a night watchman in a morgue. His first night on the job, where he's shown around by the outgoing guard, is truly brilliant and could have made a fantastic short. From here we're led into a convoluted story about a series of high-profile murders and their contrived connection to Martin and his friends. There's a huge red herring which is so blatantly telegraphed early on that you're too irritated to care how it turns out. What actually transpires is so hackneyed, far reached and fatally full of plot holes that it makes the red herring seem plausible by comparison.

There are a few nasty set pieces, some genuine suspense and a couple of good chuckles, being this is essentially a routine affair. The characterisations are thin at best, the plot is ludicrous and the denouement is frankly insulting to even the most simple-minded viewer.

Pity. This could've been great. Watch it for the opening 20 minutes, but don't expect much beyond that.
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A very good thriller but not faultless
Red-Barracuda1 December 2010
A student takes a job as a night watchman in a morgue. Very quickly he becomes the chief suspect in a series of grisly murders that are happening around the city…

There aren't too many Danish thrillers out there. Nightwatch along with Pusher proves that back in the 90's the Danes were certainly capable of making very good ones. This film is another in the serial killer cycle of movies that was especially popular back in those days. It doesn't especially break the mould to be perfectly honest but its pretty effective never-the-less. The morgue setting is good and does lend a certain morbid atmosphere to proceedings. Where the film falls a bit short in my opinion is in the domestic scenes. The watchman and his buddy set themselves a series of challenges throughout the picture. I found these to be mostly annoying distractions that, with the exception of the introduction of the young prostitute, don't really add anything to the overall whole. I guess they are mainly there for character development purposes and I concede that on that score I suppose they do actually flesh out the principal leads but only to make them seem like a couple of unsympathetic bozos. The film works best when it concentrates on its thriller principles. There is one very creepy scene in the film where we experience the killer at work, and the aforementioned parts in the morgue are very worthwhile too.

Ultimately, Nightwatch is something of a mixed bag. But the most important thing is that it does work well as a creepy thriller. If you like serial killer movies then I certainly think this one will be right up your street.
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* * out of 4.
brandonsites19814 June 2003
I am sorry to say it, but this is pretty over rated. Almost everything about the remake is better from the casting to the direction, etc. The stories are virtually the same too. A law student takes a part time job at a morgue while a series of grisly murders are occurring, only to become the prime suspect. It isn't ever boring, but then again it is never really compelling either. It runs out of steam right before the conclusion too.
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'Have you ever been killed before?'
hyperfixx22 May 2019
Nightwatch. (1994)

The original movie, featuring a young Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as a night watchman at a hospital morgue who starts to experience some disturbing things. Bold and daring Jaime Lannister he's not, but rather an inexperienced and naive law student who takes on a night job while hoping to study during the lone night hours. A solid thriller and drama about a serial killer who loves to play head games. It takes a little while for the story to unfold, but the blood gets pumping toward the end and the killer tells one of his victims 'Have you ever been killed before?' which literally sent a chill through me. Also has one of the best death scenes in cinema, full stop. Watch it ASAP! 9 out of 10 stars.
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Probably the SCARIEST Danish film ever made!
isnogud-der-grosswesir30 October 2002
Not much to say about this film. The actors are BRILLIANT and towards the end you are against on the wall clawing at the wallpaper for sheer excitement. Forget the 5th-rate US remake and watch the original horror, but don't do it alone.........
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This film started a new era in Danish movies
K-Hjorth25 December 1998
Nattevagten (The Nightwatch) from 1994 is an outstanding movie compared to Danish standard in the beginning of the 90s. This movie was the first of many Danish movies of a very high quality.

The story about the young man who gets involved in a case about a serial killer is not a unique story, but the way this one is set up and the way the characters are portrayed make this movie fantastic. It's a thriller of dimensions - and guessing the murderer isn't as easy as you might think...

Take a look at this movie if you like European ones - it's definitely worth to see how the Danish director has succeeded in creating a great thriller which has even made the American film makers interested in an American version (The Nightwatch, 1998). Check it out and you'll agree with me!
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Top notch Danish thriller
ODDBear14 August 2005
This danish thriller is downright superb in terms of suspense and atmosphere.

Martin gets a job as the night guard in a morgue in Kopenhagen. At the same time a sexual predator roams the streets and he may have already paid Martin a nighttime visit. And it seems the killer may have his sights on Martin for some reason.

Expertly well written and directed by Ole Bornedal, Nattevagten is a genuinely creepy film that should not be missed by any fan of suspense thrillers. Acting performances are top notch. All technical aspects are well in check and Bornedal makes great use of Denmark's most enchanting city. Try to locate this one, you won't regret it.

Bornedal also made the American remake, Nightwatch starring Ewan McGregor. Although that film follows this one nearly scene by scene, the original Danish release is still the way to go.
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A good mystery/thriller.
steelcorpfilms3 September 2001
Not everyday you see a Danish horror movie, and it was actually pretty well done. Good acting, interesting story, even if it was pretty predictable and slow. The biggest problem I had with it was the poor subtitling. There was an American remake made in 1998. If I see it around, I might check it out.

The cast was all Danish, I think. I know there was no one I recognized in this flick. Still, they all did a really good job. Kim Bodnia was pretty unlikable, but I guess that's what he was supposed to be, but there were times when it seemed like he was trying a bit too hard. Nikolaj played a good role, especially considering this was only his second film.

The story was a good `who-done-it' mystery/thriller. Whether or not I'd classify this, as a full-blown horror movie is iffy. Sure, you could watch it on Halloween night and get a kick out of it, but you'd just as soon see it on A&E Mysteries. Does that make it a bad movie? No, it just means that the audience is slightly different. A classification difference aside, the story itself is interesting but there were times when it seemed to drag. There were scenes that could have been tightened up or taken out entirely. Also, I thought it was pretty predictable, but maybe that's just me.

What bugged me the most about this movie are the subtitles. Now, I don't mind subtitles or subtitled movies, but these subtitles were poorly done. So what's the big deal? Well, when the movie is in Danish it means you can miss a lot and get confused easily. Bad subtitles are one of the main reasons I didn't give this movie a higher rating.

If you're looking for a full-blown horror movie, look elsewhere, but if you're looking for a good mystery/thriller, check this one out.
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Broodingly suspenseful, well-acted and still going strong
Morten_521 October 2017
Danish film "Nightwatch" (1994) was the feature film debut of director Ole Bornedal. 23 years after its release, it's still truly thrilling.

The story is simple enough, but the subplot with Martin's friend Jens and the young prostitute Jens sees adds another, darker dimension. It's a well-acted movie with three Danish acting stars-to-be: Kim Bodnia, Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau and Ulrich Thomsen. Remarkably, both Coaster-Waldau and Thomsen make their very feature film debuts here and Bodnia made his second feature film role only. They later became some of the greatest stars in Danish cinema and Coaster-Waldau has a significant career in Hollywood TV and cinema. Cinematographer Dan Laustsen photographed this movie and later followed director Bornedal to Hollywood for his 1997 remake of "Nightwatch". The same year, Laustsen had his first collaboration with director Guillermo del Toro on "Mimic", del Toro's first Hollywood feature and his second feature ever. Laustsen and del Toro were to collaborate again on "Crimson Peak" (2015) and "The Shape of Water" (2017).
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High Tension
Ina_no_name16 June 2006
A student get a night job to prove his girlfriend that he doesn't have to barrow money from his parents to make it on his own. So he decide to study at day and work and night. He get a night job at a morgue. All he have to do is sit by the phone and check the dead bodies once every night. No big deal. But strange things start to happen. One night one of the bodies is suddenly missing. He discovers the dead body somewhere else in the morgue and call the doctor that works there to show him that the dead body has been moved. The doctor calls the police before he shows up himself, but when the student is about to show them where he found the dead body, it's not there. The body has been moved back to place in the meantime and the doctor and the police does not believe the student.

This is one of the best scary movies I have seen in a long time. It's impressive, atmosphere is brilliant and it will keep you at the edge o your seat the whole time. You'll get scared. Trust me.
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