Review by: Rodger Skidmore
When Animals Dream is the English translation of the Danish title – Hvem Stjal Min Ost (actually that is the Danish way of saying Who stole my cheese. The real Danish title is Når Dyrene Drømmer but there were no animals that dreamt in this film). WAD is quite derivative (derivat, in case the screen writer doesn’t know the word in Danish) with a big nod to the great 2008 Swedish film Let The Right One In. A really big nod.
Actually there are a number of differences between the two – When Animals Dream is in color (ripped throats are always better in color), this one is about werewolves instead of vampires, throats are ripped (I think I already mentioned that) instead of being just bitten and this one was released in 2014 instead of 2008 and was a ripoff (but I already mentioned that twice).
Also, this one takes place on a small island instead of in a suburban apartment complex. The wolfess works in a fish gutting factory instead of being cooped up in a darkened apartment but everyone, except her father and the young man who befriends her, are bullies. Worse bullies (they do crappier things) than in the Swedish vampire version.
There is also a logistical difference. Vampires live for a very long time and werewolves, as per Lon Chaney, have more normal life spans. So little miss hairy face got her distinctive traits from her mother (no, not genetic), who got them from some Russians on a fishing trawler. With the stuff that Vladimir Putin is doing these days, sucking blood and territory from the Ukraine, why not blame him for this junk too – the werewolf stuff that happened on the Russian boat, not the derivative plot line. Oh heck, lets blame him for that also.
Acting? Yes, there was some, but mostly of guys just doing guy stuff and the family being all plain faced and stoic. Some of the bullies were hairier than Marie, the werewolf, but the action took place in Denmark so a beard is just a macho way of wearing a scarf.
Location? This was the best, as the sea, dunes, moors and rocks (great rocks) were bleak in a very Edward Hopper kind of way. All that stuff on an off-coast island should be bleak. Well done and the best part of the film.
I hope the director, Jonas Alexander Arnby, got the money for this endeavor from the Danish national lottery system, as I would hate to think he took money for it from friends and family.
To sum up the 2015 Sarasota Film Festival, of which I’ve only seen a very small portion (9 films), I would say that my awards go to:
Best Documentary: Paradise Gardens
Best Drama: Slow West
Best Comedy: Therapy For A Vampire (Der Vampir Auf Der Couch)
These three were picked, not just because they were better than the other films that I viewed, but because I really enjoyed them. In looking at all the benchmarks for rating films: acting, plot, location, costumes, cinematography, music, structure, etc. these three hit all the gates.
For a description of every film’s plot, as well as show times, please go to:
|English Title:||When Animals Dream|
|Original Title:||Når Dyrene Drømmer|
|Type of Film:||Narrative Feature|
|Gustav Dyekjær Giese|
|Benjamin Boe Rasmussen|
|Director:||Jonas Alexander Arnby|
|Executive Producer:||Tine Grew Pfeiffer|
|Produced By:||Ditte Milsted|
|Editing By:||Peter Brandt|
|Production Design by:||Sabine Hviid|
|Music By:||Mikkel Hess|