Sauna, Directed by Antti-Jussa Annila, 2008
Synopsis: In post-war Eastern Europe, Finnish and Russian delegates arbitrate a new border as they travel north through the country, before coming across a mysterious village and the secrets of an anachronistic sauna nestled in the middle of a swamp.
My Thoughts: Sauna rounded out the bottom of my personal Top Ten list in 2008, but this was the first time I'd seen the film since screening it at Fantastic Fest. In the comfort of my living room, I have to say, it lost some impact. There was definitely something special being completely unprepared for it when I first saw it in a movie theater, where the sights and sounds enveloped me in a way that a television screen can't. It's a shame more people didn't get to see Sauna on the big screen.
Even though I love Sauna, I'm not sure who to recommend it to. It probably doesn't have enough visceral thrills for the average horror fan, but it may be too much of a horror film for the foreign arthouse crowd. It's a dark tale of redemption, with a pleasing supernatural bent to it, in a very unique setting. If you like slow-burn, creepy horror, a little outside the norm, give Sauna a shot.
Recommended If You Like: Silent Hill, Andrei Tarkovsky