Horror Movie Review: Kadaver (2020)

Kadaver is a Norwegian horror film directed and written by Jarand Herdal, releasing in 2020. A nuclear apocalypse has wreaked havoc upon the world, leaving many of the remaining citizens struggling for survival. A family of three is given a lifeline by a still functional theatre which promises a hot meal and a mysterious show, one that they will never forget.

Leonora and Jacob live with their young daughter Alice. Lenora is able to get them all tickets to the theatre in the hopes that it will offer some kind of distraction for the horrors they face daily. At the entrance, Alice is refused entry. However, the hotel director, Mathias, personally steps in and welcomes the young girl to his “wonderland”.

Once inside, the family are shown to their table and presented with a meal mostly comprising of meat. Like most of the other people there, they are starving. Few hesitate in directly grabbing the slices of meat and eating it with their hands. Afterwards, Mathias informs his guests that the entire hotel will be the stage of the night’s performance. To differentiate the visitors from the actors, all spectators are given heavy golden masks.

Actors perform a variety of scenarios throughout the vast building and the guests are welcome to observe any that grabs their interest. Not long after the family started to follow the performances, Leo and Jacob lose Alice in one of the long, dark corridors. They start to call her and search for her, hardly noticing that most of the other spectators seem to have disappeared.

From then on, the parents search high and low for Alice but cannot locate her. They begin to suspect that there may be something sinister at play. They even find Alice’s red dress on a pile of clothing which leads them to panic further. As they slowly piece things together, the truth of the situation becomes clear.Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Kadaver is meh, it’s as simple as that really. One of my biggest issues with the film is the main characters. You’re stuck with these people acting panicked and hysterical, it eventually starts to grate on you. I completely get the idea that they are starving and desperate but it feels far too obvious what is actually going on. I kept waiting for some kind of twist but the twist I suppose is that it’s exactly what I suspected from the get go. It’s all way, way too predictable.

Mathias explains that absolutely everything that the guests see is a show. Therefore, Lenora and Jacob acting immediately freaked out makes little sense. It’s fully explained and yet they still decide to bring along their child even though they have severe anxiety over losing her. For 95% of the film, everything that happens can be explained as being an act….until the end. Unfortunately, there’s a severe lack of suspense because they act so over the top when not much is taking place.

Also, it doesn’t help that Lenora, Jacob & Alice are barely even characters. Apparently Lenora is something of a stage actress herself and that’s it. You’re given next to nothing else so it’s hard to even care about their survival anyway.

I’m all for a post-nuclear war setting but at least give some kind of backstory or something to explain what happened. How long ago was it? How are these people able to survive the radiation? Beats me.

I will say that there are some enjoyable moments of atmosphere and tension in Kadaver. There’s not very much in the way of gore sadly. Still, the soundtrack, acting and cinematography are decent. There’s just not much else to say. If watching a woman creeping her way around a theatre/mansion for over an hour sounds like a good time while next to nothing happens then you’ll enjoy Kadaver.


  • Liam Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Typical 90s-00s kid; raised on Pokémon, Final Fantasy & the Attitude Era. In fact, that makes up about 99% of my personality. The remaining 1% is dedicated to my inner rage for people who still don’t understand the ending of Lost or those that enjoyed the Game of Thrones final season. Find me on GBHBL where I’ll most likely be reviewing horror movies or games. Also, see me on our YouTube channel!

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