Post Mortem – No one dies in Skarnes: review of the first season
Directed by Harald Zwart, Post Mortem – No one Dies in Skarnes premiered in 2021 as a Netflix Original Series. A Norwegian horror drama with dark, unconventional, and crime tones.
Post Mortem – Plot
Skarnes, a Norwegian town where life runs smoothly… until a woman is found dead in a field. But things are not what they appear, Live Hallangen miraculously recovers from death on the morgue table. Something in her is changing; there is confusion, and a new tireless thirst haunts her. What happened to her is an uncomfortable legacy from the past, linked to the disappearance of her mother …
As happened with Ragnarok, Netflix offers a new series with a Nordic flavor, fresh and innovative. The simplicity of Skarnes, this town not far from the Swedish border, is a small nucleus of everyday complexities.
The police made up of only two agents, spend placid days between a coffee and another. Their presence seems almost superfluous in a small town where nothing new ever happens. Likewise, the Hallangen family funeral home has few bodies to bury and many debts to pay.
“No one dies in Skarnes” is the almost ironic motto of this village. But everything is about to change, something strange makes its way from the past and creeps into the present, shaking the immovable foundations of this community.
Live Hallangen, a nurse in the Skarnes nursing home, is found dead in a field. The cause of death is unclear, so the police arrange the body for an autopsy. And it is during the autopsy that Live comes back to life, displacing the coroners. Live Hallangen’s case is suspicious and Agent Reinert wants to investigate, despite the obvious skepticism of his colleague, Judith.
Live’s death and return to life seems to be the first piece of a domino that triggers a series of deaths, from which Odd, Live’s brother and new head of the family funeral home, tries to benefit from not losing his home. But with macabre irony, poor Odd seems haunted by bad luck: no funeral is successful, bizarre unexpected always ruin his plans.
In all of this, Live must face her new condition and her relentless thirst for… human blood. Her senses have sharpened enough to keep her awake at night, along with the succulent pulsing of the human veins that surround her from every corner of the city. The word “vampire” is never spoken, yet Live’s new physical state comes close to the much-feared creature of the night.
How did she turn into this new being? What does the mother’s dark past hide? Questions that may perhaps be answered in the second season, whose release for the moment has not yet been made official by Netflix.
Post Mortem – No one dies in Skarnes is a show poised between subtle irony and macabre scenarios. Live’s feeling of confusion is clearly perceived as she goes through all the stages of her new condition. It is a sensation that involves the public very much and separates this story from the more traditional conception of “vampire”.
The Norwegian landscape that is the background to the series, with all its uses and behaviors, gives a new perspective to a story that, at first glance, could give the idea of having already been consumed, to different degrees from a cinematographic point of view, during the years.
I particularly appreciated the figure of Judith (Kim Fairchild) and that of Odd (Elias Holmen Sørensen), despite the fact that they are two secondary figures. I’m very curious to find out the rest of the story, so I hope Netflix chooses to continue with the second season.