Cadaver Parent Guide
The movie is well done, if unpleasant. And "unpleasant" is the point.
Parent Movie Review
Following a nuclear war, humans have been reduced to foraging for food and hiding in the ruins of depopulated cities. With violence on the streets a growing concern for the few residents, parents Leonora (Gitte Witt) and Jacob (Thomas Gullestad) struggle to provide for their daughter, Alice (Tuva Olivia Renman), and are concerned for their futures. When the opportunity arises to take a night off, see a show, and get a meal, it all sounds too good to be true. The wealthy and enigmatic Mathias (Thorbjørn Harr) owns and operates a remarkably intact hotel, using his apparent wealth to sponsor dramatic performances for the masses. The audience are given masks and instructed that anyone not wearing a mask is an actor, then turned loose in the hotel to follow whichever performances they find the most compelling. But things still don’t seem quite right to Leo and Jacob, and the longer the “show” goes on, the more suspicious they become…
Befitting its post-apocalyptic setting, Cadaver is absolutely steeped in a dreary despair – all the better to highlight the sumptuous hotel interior. Even there, the ominous atmosphere leaks in and casts everything in a sinister light. It’s very well done, if deeply unpleasant – but unpleasant is definitely the point. The film raises interesting questions about what makes humanity human, in the absence of typical societal benchmarks. It also takes that opportunity to look at the inhumanity seemingly inherent in our fragile little species. The horror comes from the tragic disconnect between the first and the second – people’s failure to respond to tragedy with compassion, and the utter selfishness to which we seem so prone.
This is obviously unsuitable for children due to its disturbing violence and mature subject matter. (The subtitles for this Norwegian language film also deter young viewers.) Though the “D” grade for violence might imply otherwise, the gore is less intense than in many other films in the horror genre. This isn’t trying to be a slasher flick, and a lot of the violence happens off-screen. There is still some deeply unpleasant gore, though, and I don’t recommend this movie for squeamish viewers. I also wouldn’t suggest eating during the film – cannibalism has a way of suppressing the appetite.
I found this film interesting, but it’s hard to watch depictions of a bleak and dystopian future without thinking that I could get a similar feeling from reading a newspaper. If you’re looking for some entertaining escapism, this isn’t the movie for you: This leans more towards existential disquiet. Cadaver is one of those films that reinforces my preferred location during a nuclear war: ground zero. I sure don’t want to see what happens after someone pushes that big red button.Directed by Jarand Herdal. Starring Gitte Witt, Thomas Gullestad, and Thorbjørn Harr. Running time: 86 minutes. Theatrical release October 22, 2020. Updated February 5, 2021
Watch the trailer for Cadaver
Rating & Content Info
Why is Cadaver rated TV-MA? Cadaver is rated TV-MA by the MPAA
Violence: An individual is seen committing suicide by hanging. Dead and dismembered bodies are shown. Various people are stabbed or impaled. There are depictions of cannibalism. There are also several scenes showing violence that is “fake” in the context of the film, including fake blood and a person cutting their own throat.
Sexual Content: The same couple is shown having sex twice, both times in the context of a performance. Some brief posterior nudity is seen. A dead body is seen naked.
Profanity: There are 7 uses of extreme profanity and occasional terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An individual is depicted as being drunk in the context of a performance.
Page last updated February 5, 2021
Cadaver Parents' Guide
Why do Leonora and Jacob accept an invitation to an event that seems too good to be true? What are the risks in accepting offers that are too good to be true?
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