An impressive Icelandic limited series which boasts a frigid atmosphere and an engaging murder-mystery plot.
This review of The Valhalla Murders (Netflix) is spoiler-free.
There’s no easier way to give a show a dark Nordic noir vibe than to stick something from Norse mythology in the title, and thus we have The Valhalla Murders, new on Netflix today, an eight-part murder-mystery created by Thordur Palsson, who directs half of the episodes.
Making a respectable addition to the Big N’s international library and hitting all the right notes of serial murder, a compelling female protagonist and a frigid setting which helps to give the show some specificity in an overcrowded genre, The Valhalla Murders will likely satisfy fans looking for more of the same only in a slightly different place. That place, the noticeably egalitarian Reykjavik, is probably the strongest component of a show which sees police investigator Arnar (Björn Thors) return to his native Iceland to help Kata (Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir) apprehend the nation’s first prolific serial killer.
Flawed, broody, and relatively complex characters are brought to chilly life here by well-chosen actors and steered through the narrative by a relatively inexperienced writer-director in Palsson. The result is surprisingly engaging, and while The Valhalla Murders offers little new in terms of content, anyone pining for some more exposure to depravity – this time in sub-zero conditions – will find little to complain about in the pacey mystery served up here.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.