Breeder (Denmark, 2022)

A woman goes through a major terrible ordeal in this insane Danish thriller from director Jens Lund.

Mia Lindberg seems to have a happy marriage with her husband Thomas. She has even made a new friend in her neighbor Nika, who moved from Russia. However, her once happy life is about to go through a radical change. When Nika is kidnapped, she narrowly escapes from the men and heads to Mia’s house. Thomas offers to take Nika to the hospital. However, when Mia learns Nika never made it to the nearby hospital, she decides to find out what’s going on.

Soon enough, Mia finds herself kidnapped and taken to an abandoned warehouse. There, he meets “The Dog”, a raggedy old man who brands her and tortures her for his pleasure. However, Mia soon learns that Thomas is involved but only because he has been blackmailed. Six months ago, Thomas had met Dr. Isabel Ruben, who had found the secret of de-aging. She had been using experimentation on unsuspecting various women and torturing them to somehow get their DNA. Will Mia be able to both save herself and her husband or will she fall prey to the mad doctor?

The idea of human experimentation is one that has been done plenty of times in the horror genre. This Danish flick may seem like a redundant “experimentation” film, but this is actually a wild experiment in torture hidden behind a psychological thriller. The first act of the film introduces our protagonist Mia, played by Sara Hjolt Ditlevsen, as she narrates about how much she hates dogs as they attacked her as a child. This plays an important role later in the film.

Anders Heinrichsen pulls off a pretty interesting performance as Thomas, Mia’s suffering husband who may seem like an unscrupulous businessman but it’s a façade for something deeper, a dark memory from his past that he can no longer escape once Mia is taken. While Mia is at first stunned at her husband’s involvement, upon learning the truth, she sees he is going to what he can to help her despite the warnings from the major villains of the film. And there are three of them.

While Morten Holst’s “The Dog” (see about Mia’s opening narration) and Jens Andersen’s “The Pig” serve as the ruthless sadists who put Mia and other victims through a literal Hell, the real villain of the story comes in the form of the youthful Dr. Ruben, played by Signe Egholm Olsen. Thomas reveals because of her rejuvenation system, she may look in her 40’s but she’s 61 years old. However, it’s the methods that are the focus of the film and despite objections from certain parties, the first introduced as nice Ruben goes into full ruthless mode as the film progresses. If Harry Potter’s Dolores Umbridge was a mad doctor who uses experimentation on unsuspecting victims, then Dr. Ruben would be that perfect brand.

Eeva Putro deserves some good mention as Nika, Mia and Thomas’s new neighbor who upon meeting Mia seems a bit shy but warms up quickly. It is when she narrowly escapes the kidnappers the first time that becomes the trigger and she pulls off quite a performance worthy of a scream queen. However, nothing compares to the final fifteen minutes of the film that define the meaning of “female empowerment” and it has to be seen to believe.

Breeder may sound like a redundant “human experimentation” film. However, the twists and turns plus the amazing finale makes this one to check out!

WFG RATING: B+

Uncork’d Entertainment presents a Beo Starling production. Director: Jens Dahl. Producers: Maria Møller Christofferson and Amalie Lyngbo Hjort. Writer: Sissel Dalsgaard Thomsen. Cinematography: Nikolai Lok Hansen. Editing: Jakob Juul Toldam.

Cast: Sara Hjort Ditlevsen, Anders Heinrichsen, Signe Egholm Olsen, Morten Holst, Jens Andersen, Eeva Putro, David Bateson, Bengt C.W. Carlsson, Eja Rhea Mathea Due, Elvira Friis, Oksana Kniazeva, Sara Wilgaard Sinkjær.

The film is available On Demand.

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