The Thrill of the Nordic Kill: The Manhunt Movie in the Nordic Thriller

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“This world’s divided into two kinds of people: The hunter and the hunted,” big-game hunter Rainsford says in The Most Dangerous Game (1932) and self-assured continues, “Luckily, I’m a hunter. Nothing can ever change that.” Well, he will discover that in the manhunt movie even the hunter can become prey. The manhunt movie is a subgenre of the Hollywood thriller which joins two elements: big-game sport hunting and hunting humans. Sport hunting stirs up themes of nature and culture, morals and ethics, masculinity, and, finally, civilization. Here, we will ask what happens when the subgenre is used in the Nordic thriller.
The chapter has three aims: First, it establishes the central generic traits of the manhunt movie. Second, it sets up a theoretical framework of sociobiological and ecological theories with hunting as a reference point. And, third, it examines the Nordic version of the manhunt movie focusing on the themes of hunting, nature, social standing, and civilization. I look at the Danish drama The Hunt (2012, Thomas Vinterberg), the Norwegian thriller-heist-comedy Headhunters (2011, Morten Tyldum), and the Swedish thrillers The Hunters (Jägarna, 1996) and False Trail (Jägarna 2, 2011) by Kjell Sundvall.
Title of host publicationNordic Genre Film : Small Nation Film Cultures in the Global Marketplace
Editors Tommy Gustafsson, Pietari Kääpä
Number of pages20
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Publication date2015
ISBN (Print)9780748693184
ISBN (Electronic)9780748693207
Publication statusPublished - 2015
SeriesTraditions in World Cinema

    Research areas

  • nordic genre film, ecological media theory, manhunt film, thomas vinterberg, The Hunt, The Hunters, Headhunters, Morten Tyldum, Kjell Sundvall, film drama, Nordic film drama, Nordic film history
  1. Network for European Cinema and Media Studies

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