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Trapped Review

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The show is totally engrossing

by Simon Crust Apr 1, 2016

  • Movies review


    Trapped Review
    There is a storm coming. A devastating winter storm. Snow drifting so fast it blocks roads and seals in a township. And with it a realisation. The body found in the fjord was a murder victim. With no-one able to travel in or out the murderer must also be here, trapped. And it could be anyone.

    Such is the premise for this new 'Nordic Noir' series, the Icelandic thriller/mystery Trapped, which has the distinction of being the most expensive series ever made in Iceland, while also being the most sought after and watched series, award nominated and winner, and number one pilot episode.

    It is little wonder why; the series hits the ground running by introducing a number of well meaning, but flawed characters, all with their own issues that become instantly recognisable and empathetic. Add to that a tragedy, a dynamic plot device, harsh uncompromising conditions (both in terms of story narrative and weather devices) and a relentless driving pace that pushes time, patience and energy to the very limit; the show is totally engrossing.

    Filmed in and around the winter months of Iceland during the very weather that the show is demonstrating, with a bunch of actors that totally inhabit their respective characters and you have a series that is natural and compelling, approachable and alien, identifiable and indefatigable. The Nordic realms have produced some of the best TV in recent years, pioneering series’ such as The Bridge and The Killing are demonstrating that they are not a flash in the pan, but rather a force to be reckoned with. And Trapped is every bit as gripping.

    It takes the enclosed small group terrorised to a whole new level, by having an entire town trapped by a monster winter storm after a body is discovered, effectively trapping everyone with a murderer. The genius of the show (as with many of these Nordic series) is the complexity of the characters, who all have grounded backstories endearing them to the audience, thus we care about their plight. And when the show ramps up the pressure, again and again, you are hooked into finding out what happens next – just like a great novel the series could be termed a ‘page-turner’ as the events take place over just a few days with near ‘24’ like tension: just when you think things are levelling off, the show turns things on its head!

    With terrific acting from everyone involved, tight scripting, taught direction, superlative editing, energetic scoring and a driving narrative that never lets up over the ten episodes, Trapped is yet another terrific example of ‘Nordic Noir’ producing some of the best TV in recent years.

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