The 2020 film Cadaver is set in a post apocalyptic time where famine and civil unrest go hand in hand.
In the opening scene, we start with a lambs head on a platter, get a short tour of a dwelling and see children playing in piles of clothing. As one of those children play, they find a garment that appears to have blood on it.
Within the first 2 minutes of the movie - we already have a sense of some of the things that will take place in the film.
A lamb represents vulnerability and innocence. In regards to their comparison to humans, it stands for a vulnerable or innocent person. If we think of the term sheeple, these are people that are easily moved, manipulated and guided to their own demise. The lambs head on a platter, makes me think of the phrase - "like sheep to the slaughter" - The opening image is a clear indication that something will happen to innocent people - we just don't know how and which ones yet.
The atmosphere of the mysterious location is red - and though seeing red can stand for several things, when given as a backdrop, or the main color used for the interior design - the color usually has something to do with blood or the shedding of blood through some sort of sacrifice.
Once we cut away from the dwelling and move to some of the main protagonists of the film, we're taken through scenes of destruction and disarray, where war has ravaged the town of all its resources. In this world, it's every man for himself and it's not safe to be caught unprepared.
Once they get to where they're staying, they see the mental affects of what this war has done to their neighbors before going into their own "home".
At home, the husband Jacob, has a conversation with his wife Leonora, - where he suggests that it might be a good idea to start looking for another spot. he states that where they are isn't safe anymore and the wife states that they will be fine - everything has been destroyed, so they might as well stay where they are.
Jacob - [played by "Thomas Gullestad"]
Leonora - [played by "Gitte Witt"]
Shortly after, we're then taken through a panning of the town, and our eye is drawn to a poster in a store or shop, of Leonora starring in a Macbeth play - showing us a glimpse of Leonora's life before the attack, before cutting to the family eating their canned dinner.
During their dining, a man can be heard outside shouting something - once the family gets outside - the man tells them about a show that the Hotel is giving - the strange man and Leonora have a short conversation about how a hotel even has the means to do this, before she makes the decision that her family should go - her husband tries to talk her out of it by convincing her that this is simply too good to be true, nevertheless - they all end up going anyway.
Leonora is wearing a floral or patterned dress, Jacob wears shades of brown and their daughter Alice , wears a red dress.
Alice - [played by Tuva Olivia Remman]
The tones of the colors they wear are muted due to the dirty conditions of their environment - giving their outfits a brown over tone
-Brown has to do with reliability and stability and red, in the context mentioned earlier, represents blood or a form of sacrifice.
The browns and blues in conjunction gives the audience a sense that the characters are comfortable, and even feel a sense of hope at the possibility of a better life or existence. The red lets us know that they are going blindly into a situation that may be a little over their heads.
The name Alice has been used often to represent a person that descends into a rabbit hole, alluding to Alice in wonderland. One of the meanings for the name Alice is "consciousness". Characters with the name Alice are not always the ones having to deal with misfortunes in the storyline - but those around them usually have to face strange occurrences or unexplained events that have to do with a certain level awareness or revelation.
Once the family gets to the hotel, they are told that children are not allowed, we go through a little dialogue and eventually, the family is told that an exception can be made for Alice.
Once we're in the hotel, the patrons are fed a feast and the owner Mathias, explains that this is not a show with acts on stage - instead, it's an interactive experience
Before the show begins, we're shown Leonora and Jacob having a conversation with the other couple at the table. The couple Katherine and Lars - engage in conversation as though they're visiting as well - but on a realism spectrum - if the whole world has been affected by war, how are these two still so put together if they've been living under the same conditions as everyone else. More clues that gave away their part in the story was the color of their attire - they both appear to be wearing black, though it's a little more obvious on Katherine.
Mathias - Thorbjørn Harr
Katherine and Lars [played by Maria Grazia Di Meo and Kingsford Siayor]
Black, in movies with an emphasis on metaphors and symbolism, usually means death, darkness or evil. The black worn by the couple gives us a clue that they may be more than mere patrons of the show.
We're immediately thrust into the action Rakel, walks in and starts an argument with David, . This scene is a little jolting, so it's unclear if this is part of the act - at least until we see her walk through a spotlight when she exits.
Rakel - played by Trine Wiggen
David - played by Jonatan Rodriguez
Rakel, the angry woman is also wearing all black.
David says his piece, and a woman - who I thought was his mother at first - begs him to enjoy his time with the family - he storms off and the official tour begins.
The angry man is wearing shades of blue, which seems to separate him a little from the other characters in the act. Blue can have different meanings depending on the shade. The variations of blue in his costume, while omitting dark blue - gives the idea that this person should be trusted because he's just a regular guy.
My first thought was - and no offense - wow, she looks way older than him, which is fine - but it was my first thought, then I saw the new wife and I thought - are young women extinct? ...it brought to mind memories of the movie Aimee, where a 35 year old was passed off as a high school student...anywho...lets get back to the review....
As Mathias stated, this is not a show with acts on stage - instead, it's an interactive experience where the participants will be guided through hallways of acts - seeing a different life experience with every room.
The participants are instructed to wear masks and as the tour commences we follow the group through the hallways of the hotel, where strange things start to occur and the line between reality and imagination become unclear. We can't tell if Leonora is seeing what she is claiming to see - or if it's just her mind playing tricks on her.
By the end of the film, we discover the magnitude of the situation the family has gotten themselves into, why the hotel has these shows and how it's able to continue its operations, in spite the rest of the world coming to a screeching halt.
In a nutshell, I honestly had fun watching this movie. Some parts that I found funny weren't intended to be - but nevertheless - it was a fun time and I didn't feel like my time was completely wasted.
The movie didn't do a lot in terms suspense and mystery for me personally, but it does beg the question of what a person would do in this type of circumstance if it was the only way you could sustain. It also touches on mob mentality and if a person is willing to stand up for what's right in the face of opposition at the risk of losing everything.
If you like suspense and mystery thrillers that tell you what's going to happen before it happens - you may enjoy this film. If you would like to watch it, it's currently available on Netflix. And on that note - have an awesome day, be good to yourself and good to others - peace.
IMDB C/O Netflix