A naked woman, covered in ash, appears on the slopes of the Katla, a subglacial volcano surrounded by myths and legends. The mystery corrodes the souls of the place
It is not difficult to relate
‘Katla’ with ‘The invasion of the body thieves’, given its approach, which in turn connects with the recommended gala series ‘Les Revenants’, ‘Glitch’ and many other initiatives that include
the suggestive idea that deceased loved ones return to life in perfect condition, without rotting like the undead. The interesting thing about this Icelandic series that has crept into the top ten on Netflix this week is
its striking setting, with a slow but hypnotic rhythm.
The atmosphere envelops the viewer, with a peculiar aesthetic, of ice, snow and ashes.. On the slopes of a volcano that has not erupted for a year, a bunch of characters cross their coldness as their greatest fears in the flesh burst onto the scene. The ghosts of the past come to life. Relatives and loved ones who have been missing for years return home by magic causing mixed feelings. Strange phenomena, simmered in a frigid setting, such as Master Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’, a cult reference, or the recent ‘The Head’, whose intrigue is set on a base in Antarctica. Inevitable also not remembering ‘Dark’, with a German stamp, hastily defined by some as a kind of ‘Stranger Things’ for adults, a supernatural journey with the disappearance of a child in the forest as the beginning of the adventure,
The rise of audiovisual entertainment on demand allows us to taste proposals from different nationalities and see how they are spent in countries with silenced filmography. ‘Katla’, whose title comes from the well-known volcano located under the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, one of the most touristic places in Iceland,
unites nordic noir, an increasingly present and idolized label, with the fantasy genre. The plot hooks, simmering, with subtle hits of effect. It grows as we learn more about the characters, until
a total of eight episodes of 50 minutes each that are reeling off the impressions of the inhabitants of the town of Vik, located at the foot of the Katla. Your feelings are stirred and
they do not know how to act when dead relatives appear, as if they had never disappeared, and some doubles of himself that affect his day to day. The series, created by
Baltasar Kormákur (‘Adrift’) and
Sigurjon Kjartansson (‘Court’), found herself in the middle of filming with the happy pandemic after several years trying to get ahead, which complicated her gestation, lengthening in time.
The project was able to be lifted after a pitching at the Berlin festival.
A frame from the series.
The last eruption of the Katla volcano took place in 1918. In the series he is one more character. Its name comes from a sorceress from Icelandic mythology. According to legend, she was the keeper of the key to a monastery that was on the top of the glacier. Kormákur, mind behind ‘Katla’, in production and behind the camera, is an expert in titles that combine drama and survival in inhospitable environments, such as ‘Everest’ or ‘The Deep’. ‘A la deriva’, his latest long-format work, was based on a true story, that of a woman and a man who eagerly undertook a boat trip from Tahiti to San Diego that was twisted by a devastating storm. The soundtrack, signed by
Högni Egilsson, helps to create a disturbing, unsettling atmosphere for the patient public, with an icy photograph that penetrates the brain. From Iceland, with horror, mystery and emotion, comes
one of the most personal proposals of the most popular platform of the streaming war.
‘Katla’ is available on Netflix.