Den du frygter

Den du frygter
Emma Sehested Høeg

Emma Sehested Høeg

Screen Time: 40%
Role: Selma
Age: 13 years old


Den du frygter

Fear Me Not (International: English title)
Rating: 6.5 (2 votes)
Directed: Kristian Levring
Country: Denmark
Language: Danish
Genre: Drama, Thriller


A beautiful lakefront house, a loving wife and a respectful teenage daughter is not enough for 42 year old Mikael (Ulrich Thomson). Taking a break from work, Mikael desperately looks for something to take his mind off of the monotony that has become his life. When his friend lets on that a pharmaceutical company is trailing a new anti-depressant, Mikael willingly signs up in a hope that it will solve all his problems. Yet the trial gets abandoned when the drug proves to have unexpected side-effects that cause erratic behaviour. Unwilling to simply give up the euphoria and sense of freedom induced by the pills, Mikael continues the trial in secret. Soon enough, the side-effects start to take their toll, leading Mikael down a dark path that sees him gradually lose control of his inhibitions.

Movie Reviews

Neti Neti

FEAR ME NOT is a film about a man who is both a loving father and a disconnected husband. Said father is really unhappy with the way his six-month leave from his career has turned out. His friend (a doctor) hips him to a medical experiment testing drugs for depression. Disenchanted dad wants in. Friend is not so sure about it, but gives in. Things are going fine, but not great (effects are subtle but positive). However, dad, like some of the other patients, starts to experience some of the unforeseen side effects, namely sadism with a touch of emotional detachment.

Experiment is called off. Dad secretly keeps up the pill popping. Things turn to not-so-great, but frankly could be worse. There’s the necessary climax, but you’re kinda like, “Was that it?” Then a little wrap-up jumps out from around the corner to make it tidy and the film ends. No one claps and you walk out thinking about the weather and if you should take the Q- or F-train home.

FMN will give you some really quality acting by two leads (Paprika Steen and Ulrich Thomsen, about the best acting talent Denmark has to offer). Not to mention the daughter played by Emma Sehested Høeg gives a stunning little performance of her own. You also get a pretty uncomfortable scene or two of the increasingly creepy dad perving out all over a teenage girl. Not bad. Makes you think. Begs a few questions about adulthood and the satisfaction gained from living the good life. But in the end, that’s pretty much it. A movie.

Could have been more though.

The film suffers mostly from it’s “not quite a thriller, not quite a drama” complex. Normally I’d be all for that. The Hindu philosophy known as Advaita Vedanta calls this “neti neti,” loosely translated as “not this, not that.” Neti neti, however, ultimately leaves the spiritual aspirant with a realization of Divine Reality. FMN? Not so much. By contrast, FMN leaves me with a film that doesn’t really know what it wants to be and I’m like, “Well if you don’t know, then I’m not gonna figure it out for ya.”