Something very creepy is lurking the woods of the Norwegian countryside in “Valley of Shadows,” the feature debut from director Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen set to premiere in TIFF’s Discovery section this month. The film unfolds from the perspective of six-year-old Asklak, who lives a lonely life with his single mother. Their quiet existence is complicated by the inexplicable death of sheep at the hands of an unseen presence that haunts the woods at night.
The first trailer for the film leaves the nature of that presence uncertain, although one theory about a werewolf seems to correlate with the evidence at hand.
Gulbrandsen, who also co-wrote the film with Clement Tuffreau, has said that he envisioned the story as “a nightmarish version of the fairy tale ‘Peter and the Wolf.’” In early press notes for the project, he describes the Scandinavian gothic project as “a reflection of a child’s mind and perspective.” This early glimpse suggests a highly atmospheric tale in the grand tradition of supernatural thrillers told from a child’s perspective, from “The Curse of the Cat People” to “Stranger Things.”
The film premieres at TIFF on Friday, September 8. Watch the trailer below.