black crab is one of the best straight-to-Netflix movies to hit the streaming service in quite some time. Co-writer/director Adam Berg and co-writer Pelle Rådström introduce a post-apocalyptic setting that’s not something audiences haven’t seen before. However, black crab tells his familiar story in a thrilling adventure.
‘Black Crab’ tackles a post-apocalyptic war
A seemingly endless war continues to tear apart a post-apocalyptic world. The winter is particularly harsh, but six soldiers are in charge of a final mission with little chance of success. However, if they manage to get out of it, the war is over and they can regain their freedom. Soldiers must cross behind enemy lines and carry a mysterious package to their target destination.
black crab tells her story from the point of view of Caroline Edh (Noomi Rapace). The speed skater-turned-soldier hasn’t seen her daughter in a while, but she’ll find her daughter if she does. The group travels through a frozen archipelago with the goal of finally achieving peace once and for all.
Writer/director Adam Berg tells a mother/daughter story with a frozen archipelago in between
black crab begins with a radio broadcast of an ongoing civil war, as ruthless soldiers throw Caroline and her daughter into a life-or-death situation. Early on, Caroline’s peers underestimate her as she becomes a soldier. However, she is resourceful, intelligent and determined. The trauma of losing her daughter translates into her dreams that bring her most vivid memories into her present.
Caroline learns that the best way to stay alive is to follow orders. Those who haven’t learned the same lesson are hanged on the highways as deserters. However, Caroline begins to question those around her. Berg keeps the war rather ambiguous, never revealing much about either side of the fight. There is no “good” or “bad” side of the war in black craballowing audiences to judge its characters as individuals rather than their commanders.
Berg sets the stakes very high, including Caroline’s desperation to find her daughter. However, she will face many deadly dangers along the way. Enemy snipers, thick ice beneath their skates, and sub-freezing temperatures are just some of the dangers in the soldiers’ path. Berg never allows his characters to feel safe.
‘Black Crab’ is an entertaining action thriller
Berg’s impressive direction contributes greatly to black crabThe tension is growing. He uses the snowy setting to his advantage, creating a lack of visibility for the characters and the audience. As a result, the danger really seems to be all-encompassing. The sound department really excels, providing immense atmosphere as the soundstage fills with the sound of crackling ice cream. This gives the illusion that the characters could fall at any moment.
Rapace has been featured in some really fascinating projects lately. black crab joins his other recent films, including Lamb and You won’t be alone. Rapace once again brings a certain magnetizing vulnerability to his role, giving it dramatic weight. However, Erik Enge and Jakob Oftebro are also putting in strong performances like the other crew members.
The decision-making of the characters in black crab is not always the smartest. However, the film remains engrossing, even through an overly abrupt ending that doesn’t fully capitalize on its tense journey. His statement about the war ultimately hinders the storytelling, but it’s still a worthwhile adventure. black crab delivers an entertaining, tense thriller that makes good use of its snowy setting.
black crab hits Netflix on March 18.
RELATED: ‘Lamb’ Movie Review: Serious & Intimate Folk Horror [Beyond Fest]