Plot: An elderly woman has taken her life in a rustic, old church, hanging herself from the rafters. But this suicide involves some strange elements, such as how the church has been ransacked. Freyr (Johannes Haukur Johannesson) is a psychiatrist brought in to consult on the death, to help frame why the woman would kill herself, as well as perhaps explain the odd circumstances. In addition to the other damage done to the church, the walls had crosses scratched into them, which becomes quite haunting when it is discovered that the woman’s corpse has crossed carved on it as well. While some of the wounds were fresh, others were deeply scarred and it was clear this disfigurement had gone on for years. Meanwhile, a young husband and wife set out to remodel a run down structure, with hopes of converting it into a bed & breakfast. The project begins well enough, but soon the wife begins to have odd vibes and experience almost supernatural kinds of visions. But is she just suffering from mental stress, or is there some kind of dark past within this house?
Entertainment Value: As you can tell from the synopsis, I Remember You is a movie with two narratives, though the two share some common threads. The movie gives each thread enough time to develop and flesh out all the elements, so neither story feels rushed or neglected. How the threads are woven together is an important part of the story of course, but the journey to that point is well crafted. The pace here is deliberate, but never feels overly slow, as the movie builds effective tension, mood, and atmosphere throughout. The Icelandic setting is a palpable source of oppressive vibes, which I’ve noticed in some television shows filmed there, as if the cold, remote locales are a character unto themselves. The movie relies on that dread and just kind of depressing atmosphere, which rarely relents, even in the movie’s minor attempts to lighten things for a moment. A few jump scares make it in, as well as creepy visuals, but overall, the mood and atmosphere drive the horror side of the film. The performances here are excellent, with some intense turns from the cast who keep us glued to the movie even when the pace slows. This is a great example of how a horror/thriller can be effective without leaning on camp or overdone cheap tricks, a serious and eerie movie that genre fans should appreciate.
A sex scene has some brief toplessness, but that’s all the naked flesh in this one. A little blood, but it is aftermath type stuff. A gross eye injury crops up at one point, while the various eerie visions sport some creepy makeup work. The horror vibe is strong here, but it doesn’t push violence, relying more on mood. The writing here is rock solid, but the tone is serious and as such, not much in terms of flashy lines or outlandish exchanges. I don’t think that should surprise anyone in this case, given the movie’s dark mood and serious approach. So while the score might be low, it is due to the system we use, which rewards wild and outrageous dialogue. But don’t let the score fool you, this is well written from start to finish. In terms of craziness, the movie’s serious approach reels in the wackiness, so there’s not much to go around. In truth, there’s no real room for such hijinks in I Remember You, which unspools a serious narrative bathed in tense darkness, so the craziness isn’t missed here.
Overall Insanity: 0/10