Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

What is lupus? Selena Gomez diagnosis prompts questions...
Maksim Chmerkovskiy Will Return to 'Dancing With The St...
'The Good Wife' Cush Jumbo Tackles Comparisons...
'Class': 'Doctor Who' Spinoff Series Coming to BBC Thre...
'The Revenant' Trailer: Leonardo DiCaprio Seeks Revenge...
Will Trevor Noah Live Up To The Hype During Monday's 'D...
Watch Eddie Vedder, Beyonce Duet on Bob Marley's 'Redem...
'CSI' being laid to rest after 15 years ...
Big Brother Season 17 Finale Recap: Super Fan & Trombon...
Dancing With the Stars Recap: Bindi Irwin and Derek Hou...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Anchor Bay presents
Nightwatch (1994)

"If you don't do it, you'll be haunted by fantasies."
- Peter Wormer (Ulf Pilgaard)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: July 19, 2001

Stars: Nikolaj Waldau, Sofie Graaboel, Kim Bodnia, Ulf Pilgaard
Other Stars: Lotte Andersen, Rikke Louise Andersson
Director: Ole Bornedal

Manufacturer: Crest National
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, nudity, language)
Run Time: 01h:47m:11s
Release Date: May 29, 2001
UPC: 013131131390
Genre: suspense thriller

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- B-A-A- C

DVD Review

When law student Martin Bork (Nikolaj Waldau) takes the night watchman job at a hospital morgue, he finds himself drawn into an ongoing criminal investigation headed by detective Peter Wormer (Ulf Pilgaard). Mysterious goings-on after hours drive Martin to question his own sanity, and evidence points to Martin as the culprit in a bizarre series of prostitute murders. When Martin's young acquaintance Joyce (Rikke Louise Andersson) is murdered, even his girlfriend Kalinka (Sofie Graaboel) and friends Jens and Lotte (Kim Bodnia, Lotte Andersen) begin to wonder about his professed innocence.

Director Ole Bornedal remade this 1994 film in 1998, with Ewen McGregor in the Nikolaj Waldau role; the effort garnered mediocre box office and soon sank beneath the waves of audience indifference. Looking at the original movie, it's clear why the Hollywood version was financedóBornedal's vision is kinetic and creepy, violent and bizarre without being completely dark. The plot is generic thriller materialóan innocent man versus an unknown psychotic killeróbut significant screen time is also devoted to Martin's relationships outside of his after-hours job. His girlfriend Kalinka is genuinely in love with Martin, giving us a reason to care what happens to him. His wild friend Jens is a bit unbalanced but not really evil, and the teen-aged hooker Joyce elicits tremendous empathy as her life spirals downward in a haze of drugs and commercialized sex. The film opens with a scene of the four friends at dinner, and the tension of the main plot is continually relieved and enriched by the attention paid to Martin's life at large. As the third act combines the two story threads, the stakes are much higher than they would be if we hadn't come to know and care about Martin and his friends.

Nightwatch delivers in the horror department as well, with frequent gore, necrophilia and corpse imagery used to shocking effect. Bornedal brings a fine sense of black humor to some of this stuffóMartin hears staff stories of an ex-employee who maintained a "harem" of corpses, encounters a night-staff doctor who is "a little too liberal with his own medicine," and makes hourly rounds seemingly engineered to unnerve him as much as possible. The cast of talented Danish actors (largely unknown in the United States) plays the story straight, maximizing the intended humor without undermining the script's more serious elements.

It's not a perfect movieóBornedal sometimes succeeds too well in aping the Hollywood thriller, with clichÈ scares and predictable plot twists that seem out of place in an otherwise inventive and original production. But Nightwatch does so many other things right that it's well worth seeing, with interesting, credible characters that make its gruesome events all the more horrifying.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Anchor Bay's DVD features a 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, presenting the film in its original widescreen theatrical aspect ratio courtesy of the folks at Crest National. Detail is crisp and solid, especially impressive in challenging darker scenes, and the dual-layer transfer benefits from naturalistic color (no oversaturated reds here) and minimal edge enhancement. A few shots exhibit slight grain, but this low-budget Danish thriller is given an excellent transfer here.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Danishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Nightwatch features its original Dolby 2.0 Surround theatrical audio track, as well as an electronically engineered Dolby Digital 5.1 remix produced at Chace Digital. Both mixes are similar, though the 5.1 version features slightly better imaging while respecting the character of the original mix. The soundfield is generally front-oriented, with most dialogue and effects centered, minimal bass and surround usage, and stereo support for the film's incongruous but very effective pop music soundtrack. Dialogue is clear, no unintentional noises intrude on the soundtrack, and I can't imagine this film sounding any better than it does here.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 26 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Ole Bornedal
Packaging: Alpha
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 01h:01m:54s

Extras Review: Anchor Bay's Nightwatch DVD features 26 text-menu chapter stops, optional English subtitles (default: On), and a few standard but well-executed extras. The film's theatrical trailer is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic and Danish 2.0 Surround, subtitled in English and looking just as good as the feature, and director Ole Bornedal contributes an interesting running commentary. He's surprisingly soft-spoken, and his wide-ranging commentary (in English) addresses the film's philosophy, technical production issues, and its structure and tone. Even the digital soundtrack labeling is correct (DAN), a common oversight when foreign-language films are released on Region 1 DVD.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

Nightwatch (Nattevagten) is a sharp little Danish thriller that leavens its standard-issue plot with credible human relationships. Anchor Bay's DVD features a fine transfer and an interesting commentary track. Worth checking out, even if you've seen the unsuccessful 1998 remake.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


music, selena gomez, lupus, chemotherapy, estrogen, lupus foundation of america, television, dancing with the stars, maksim chmerkovskiy, carrie ann inaba, bruno tonioli, julianne hough, the good wife, cush jumbo, archie panjabi, julianna margulies, bbc3, class, doctor who, buffy the vampire slayer, hunger games, steven moffat, brian minchin, movie, the revenant, leonardo dicaprio, tom hardy, alejandro g. inarritu, christmas day release, comedy channel, trevor noah, daily show, jon stewart, global citizen festival, pearl jam, byonce, ed sheeran, eddie vedder, cbs, csi, ted danson, elisabeth shue, elisabeth harnois, william petersen, marg helgenberger, big brother, abc, liz, steve, vanessa, julia chen, dr. will, bindi irwin, derek, hough, chaka khan, emmys 2015, laurence fishburne, tracee ellis ross, anthony anderson, will forte, jeffrey tambor, kym johnson, shark tank, robert herjavec, jungle book, cgi, scarlet johansson, bill murray, ben kingsley, idris elba, christopher walken, drama, celebrity apprentice, arnold schwarzenegger, donald trump, nbc, taylor swift, bad blood, emmy award, original interactive program, the late show, stephen colbert, ashley madison, horror, silent, epcot international food & wine festival, walt disney world, the chew, october, celebrity, jimmy fallon, tonight show, dj khaled, all i do is win, country music awards, eric church, little big town, miranda lambert, kenny chesney, sam hunt, maddie & tae, kacey musgraves, chris stapleton, late night, jeb bush, george clooney, war room, straight outta compton, faith-based drama, a walk in the woods, robert redford, september 8, documentary, history, movies, steven spielberg, the bfg, dreamworks, walt disney company, fashion police, melissa rivers, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store