movie film review | chris tookey

Trapped (TV)

© RVK Studios - all rights reserved
  Trapped (TV) Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
7.75 /10
Olafur Darri Olafsson , Ilmur Kristjansdottir , Ingvar Eggert Sigurdsson
Full Cast >

Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur, Baldvin Z, Börkur Sigthorsson, Óskar Thor Axelsson
Written by: Sigurjon Kjartansson, Clive Bradley. Created by Baltasar Kormakur

Released: 2015
Origin: Iceland
Length: 0

PRO Reviews

Bookmark and Share
Moral ambiguities, like the wind and the snow, are seemingly everywhere in the show and viewers are never sure which route the narrative is going to go down. Like other hyper stylised intelligent thrillers such as Twin Peaks and The Killing, opening up a series with a dead body is a means to uncovering a whole world of secrets, lies and felonies. But even before the end of the first episode it is the living, and not the dead, that we are concerned with here. This is a great series exploring the relationship between place and person. Even the artfully produces credits sequence shows this off, graphically mirroring Iceland’s snowy peaks and valleys with the human bodies blood flows and organic tapestry. Get lost in the snow and find what lies underneath it all.
(Robert W. Monk, Flickering Myth, 2016)
Trapped certainly shares DNA with its Scandi cousins; Denmark is only a ferry-ride away, to bring with it ideas as well as a dodgy captain. Sparse, stripped-down, simple, real? Check. Concerned as much with the characters and their problems as the plot? Check. A protagonist with some serious issues, who is flawed and worn down by life? Check. A focus not just on crime and solving crime, but on the consequences and victims of crime too? Ja. Chilly, dark beauty? Hell, yeah. But this is not merely a copy. The cut-off thing adds a nice new intensity – it’s properly claustrophobic. And the beauty is different – it’s more about nature: grand, scooped-out glacial valleys, icy fjords, a volcanic land that is alive and dangerous. The economic situation adds an uncertain and volatile backdrop. Nordic maybe, but this is also most definitely, and proudly, Icelandic. I wonder what the tourist board makes of it. I love that opening scene, where Hjortur and his girlfriend ride down the valley on her motorbike, in happier times. It does make me want to visit, but maybe in summer, when there’s less danger of getting trapped. From a TV-drama point of view, though, it’s already too late. Seductive, involving, gripping … I am already, thoroughly, trapped.
(Sam Wollaston, Guardian, 2016)
There is something about the long nights, morose landscapes and protective knitwear that make the Nordic countries famously fertile ground for crime fiction, from The Killing to The Bridge. And now tiny Iceland has joined in the gloom-fest with Trapped, a superb and suspense-laden 10-part drama that made its debut on BBC Four. It was so absorbing that within five minutes I’d forgotten it was subtitled, and tried turning the volume up.
(Ceri Matthews, Daily Telegraph, 2016)
Director and creator Baltasar Kormakur has called the show “a mix of Nordic noir and Agatha Christie” – and it definitely comes with a timebomb feeling of dread. “I wanted to remind the audience that we are on the outskirts of the inhabitable world,” he says – the producer of Everest, this is obviously something of a personal interest. And it’s on these fringes that he’s found ripe terrain for a noir with a polar twist. If you haven’t been watching thus far, don some long johns and get with the programme.
(Ellie Violet Bramlie, Guardian, 2016)
Policing methods seem to consist largely of bumbling about moodily with a perpetually pained, wistful, almost Christ-like air of noble suffering, and just sort of hoping that if enough people die and enough weird external events (avalanches, etc.) happen, the solution will turn up eventually. It looks quite amazingly bleak and depressing and everyone appears to be on a massive downer, but still you really, really want to go there... There’s something about Scandi noir drama that fulfils a need no other TV can satisfy. The names, the setting, the cultural quirks, the all-pervading gloom — they suck you in and reduce you to an exquisitely depressed catatonic state just the right side of suicidal.
(James Delingpole, Spectator, 2016)
An expertly crafted murder mystery with an added layer of frost... Trapped is a traditional snowed-in mystery, but unlike Agatha Christie tales where everyone seems weirdly delighted to spend the weekend in a posh chalet with a murderer, everyone is tired and pissed off... There’s an almost farcical level to how wrong everything goes once the avalanche really starts rolling down the mountain, but Trapped keeps a stoic face on at all times, reveling in the darkness of, say, Fargo, without succumbing to its cheery black silliness. Olafsson wears it well with a calm, stubbly wisdom while looking constantly like he needs a big hug and a stiff drink. What’s more, the added pounds of pressure are never taken for granted or sloughed off too easily. There’s real heft there, girded by scenery so outrageously beautiful that you might start to see your own breath in the comfort of your living room. It’s good for Icelandic tourism; even better for prestige drama fans. Far from crystallizing the feel of isolation, the camera places you inside a lived-in desolation, increasing the typical stakes by consistently reminding you that all the picturesque houses in the valley have their own survival stories brewing behind closed doors... It demands attention, but be warned that if you watch the first episode, you’re as good as committing another nine binge-style hours of your life to it.
(Scott Beggs, Nerdist, 2017)

Key to Symbols