Viking Wolf mimics Jaws, steals from American Werewolf in London, but still entertains

by Gordon Shelly

Viking Wolf or Vikingulven in Norwegian outright steals the plot from Jaws while borrowing heavily from the far superior American Werewolf in London; however, the film still manages to create a great deal of tension and provides an entertaining entry into the werewolf genre.

We follow a newly appointed sheriff’s deputy in a small Norwegian town with its population very set in their ways, much like the fictional town of Amity in Jaws. There is even a mayor who wants to see things done her way, the way they’ve always done things.

Deputy Liv Berg (Liv Mjönes) comes to Norway by way of Sweden with her husband and two children, Thale (Elli Rhiannon Müller Osborne) and Jenny (Mia Fosshaug Laubacher).

A mysterious attack, witnessed by Thale, leaves another teenager dead and the town in upheaval as they suspect a wolf with a taste for human blood. Further paralleling Spielberg’s classic, a salty hunter, a scientist, and the deputy come together, but first there is a hunt that leads to more carnage.

There is a nice dynamic between Thale and Jenny, the two sisters, as tension and mystery build throughout the story. Its an element that could have been developed further to make this a stronger movie.

Ultimately, Deputy Liv realizes she is dealing with a werewolf, and the bloodline must be severed. There is a convoluted and underdeveloped secondary storyline about raiding Vikings who still a “hellhound” from a British monastery. The Viking story does little more than give us the title for the movie and does little to provide background information or progress the story.

As the plot continues on its Jaws-like path, there is also a human-wolf-relationship element with two of the characters reminiscent of American Werewolf in London and leads us to the film’s conclusion.

However, the conclusion is only momentarily satisfying. There is a grand build up and confrontation that goes in one direction, only to be countered by a scene that seemed to be added after the fact.

The acting is strong and the English dub is top notch, and barely noticeable. Too often the dub becomes a distraction, but it works well in Viking Wolf.

Viking Wolf is a good watch for a “Netflix and chill” type of evening but little more and will likely be forgotten shortly after viewing.

Gordo’s Grade: C+