The Cliff - Reynir Lyngdal - Iceland
The Cliff (Hamarinn, 2009)
Director: Reynir Lyngdal
There’s no such thing as a perfect crime, but when supernatural forces are involved, it could become a baffling mystery, near impossible to solve. Eurochannel invites you into the depths of fascinating Iceland, to meet two detectives in their endeavours to unravel a puzzling case of murder in The Cliff. A series of challenges ensue for the law enforcers, not only upon encountering the reclusive personality of a small town but also via an intriguing sequence of paranormal phenomena.
The Cliff is a dramatic thriller about an experienced detective from Reykjavik sent to a small countryside town in Iceland to assist young local policewoman in investigating a suspicious accident. Together, they unravel a mystery involving paranormal incidents and unexplained deaths, set against the backdrop of a controversial construction project.
An allegory to human nature in all its fascinating complexity, The Cliff deals with the fact that everyone has a secret never to be revealed. Conceived as one of the most ambitious TV projects ever made in Iceland, the screenwriters and director build a gripping story by weaving a mysterious accident into the plots of a controversial power plant, unsolved murders and a tangled police department. The Cliff will surely take the viewers to remind the legendary The X-Files, due to its characters and plot.
As the story unfolds, it turns out that not everything is as smooth in the tranquil countryside as it would seem, especially below surface tensions simmer, causing controversy for contractors, landowners, murders, and supernatural events complicate the case. For some, the only way to solve a puzzling challenge like this is to call upon forces outside of the physical world.
An excavator falls over the edge of a cliff in the Fell Mountains, with a young man named Snorri (Thorir Sæmundsson) trapped inside. The accident happens in the middle of the night, a time when no one is supposed to be working. Homicide and Violent Crimes Detective, Helgi Marvinsson (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson) is brought in as an expert to assist the local police. One of the reasons he is chosen for the assignment is for his extensive local knowledge; he spent many summers in the area as a young boy. As the investigation unravels, mysteries begin to be unveiled that reverberate and shock the once peaceful rural community.
Snorri’s (Thorir Sæmundsson) death shakes the town and to the detectives, there’s more than meets the eye. Helgi (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson) and Inga (Dóra Jóhannsdóttir) question the hospital staff and their poor results. One staff member believes he saw a woman entering the Intensive Care Unit around the time of Snorri’s death. According to Snorri’s mother, only her husband and Anna(Tinna Hrafnsdóttir), Snorri’s friend and neighbor, knew that he was supposed to be woken up the day after he died. In a further twist, the detectives discover that dynamite has been stolen and mysterious calls have been made from and to Snorri’s mobile. Who were those callers? Were they complicit in his death?
An explosives expert suffers a violent demise in what initially appears to be an accident. It makes, however, big headlines in the press, putting more pressure on Helgi (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson) and Inga (Dóra Jóhannsdóttir) to wrap up their investigation so things can return to normal. Meanwhile, it is discovered that the mobile Snorri (Thorir Sæmundsson) was called from, belongs to a shipment sold locally, leading to the discovery that the owner probably lives in the area. But the lead goes cold as the phone remains turned off. Inga proposes the theory that somebody could have killed Snorri at the hospital.
Dóra (Elma Lísa Gunnarsdóttir), Snorri’s (Thorir Sæmundsson) ex-girlfriend, has not only been attacked but has also overdosed on prescription medicine. Inga (Dóra Jóhannsdóttir) and Helgi (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson) visit the hospital to interrogate her. Confronted with another witness testimonial about the night of the excavator accident, Dóra begins to tell the truth but refuses to reveal who her attacker is. It turns out she got pregnant with Snorri’s child but, when the relationship ended, decided to have an abortion.