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directed by Åke Gustafsson, Fredrik Hedberg, Jacob Kondrup
Sweden/Denmark 2013


Lovely Jenny (Angelica Jansson) has been suffering from terrifyingly realistic nightmares since she was a child when her unstable mother brutally murdered her father; so, naturally she is perturbed about returning to her old family home in the country for a get-together with her cousin Cissi (Cecilia Samuelsson) and her boyfriend Philip (Philip Hansell), nice guy Jakob (Martin Brandt) and bad girl Stina (Emelie Frantz Nilsson). Her concerns turn out to be not without merit when she wakes up one morning covered in blood and surrounded by the police; but is she really responsible for the possible deaths of her missing friends, or is her mother - who she has since has not been in the asylum all this time - responsible for the bloodbath?

Told in a series of flashback, MARA - its title deriving from the folkloric creature believed to be the cause of nightmares - has a novel twist for an ending; but it is really not worth seventy-odd minutes of the same old scenario. This is especially the case when it is divested of humor, gore, and sex (although the smattering of nudity is appreciated). The monotony of characters wandering dark corridors shot through canted angles is broken up temporarily by some Steadicam-assisted daytime wandering in the woods that manages to raise a few momentary chills. The end result feels more like a portfolio piece than a dream project.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 13 January 2014 (UK)

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DVD Review: 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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88 Films

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:16:57 (4% PAL speedup)

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.24 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Swedish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: 88 Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Behind the Scenes Documentary (16:9; 1:14:42)
• Casting Featurette (16:9; 3:55)
• Interview with star Angelica Jansson (16:9; 3:06)
• Trailers for 'Zombies vs Strippers', 'Killer Clown', 'Reel Evil', 'The Dead Want Women', and 'Slice
• and Dice'
• Reversible Cover

DVD Release Date: January 13th, 2014

Chapters 12



Despite sharing the dual-layer disc with a featurette that is only just slightly shorter, 88 Films' anamorphic encoding of this high definition production looks quite good in scenes in which the color palette has not been heavily altered for mood. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track has all of the expected surround jumps and music stings, and the optional English subtitles seem to cover all of the bases.

The behind-the-scenes featurette is a thorough seventy-four minutes with script reading, rehearsals, behind the scenes shooting, and candid remarks; but it's more interesting for showing just how much the image was regraded in post-production than for any interpretations offered up by the director or the actors of the script. The casting featurette is a video of the director's first meeting with actress Jansson, and the interview follows a test screening of the film. The former finds the untrained actress looking forward to trying something new, while the latter finds her pleased with the results and interested in more acting (although she says her degree in environmental science will come in handy if she doesn't become the next Meryl Streep). The disc closes out with trailers for a handful of other 88 Films releases.

  - Eric Cotenas


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88 Films

Region 0 - PAL


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