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Sauna (2009)

Ville Virtanen , Tommi Eronen , Antti-Jussi Annila  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ville Virtanen, Tommi Eronen, Viktor Klimenko, Sonja Petäjäjärvi, Vilhelmiina Virkkunen
  • Directors: Antti-Jussi Annila
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002JTMO0E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,420 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A chilling horror film, SAUNA explores the space between Christianity and paganism. The year 1595- a long and brutal war is finally over. Brothers Knut and Erik- who are part of a commission marking the border between Finland and Russia- commit a terrible sin as they leave a young girl to die a horrible death. As the commission crosses the uncharted swamp, the girl returns to haunt them. Weary men find solace from the nameless village and find a sauna- the sauna where all sins are washed away. Seeking forgiveness the brothers step in…

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Closer to a Nightmare than the Real Thing August 4, 2009
Every once in a while I manage to find a dvd that is absolutely worth viewing-this is one among them. I have watched this dvd six times already, and each time the sense of the horror becomes more and more pronounced. The dvd is in the same meld as Bergman's Hour of the Wolf, or The Serpent's Egg, or The Seventh Seal, (the lead actor, Ville Virtanen, has resemblence to Max Von Sydow.) yet laying out the psychological horror far more explicitly and unrelentingly, finally at the end spilling it forth without restraint in the emotionally raw screams and yells that are totally nightmarish (one thinks of the final revelation in Heart of Darkness, when Kurtz utters his final words, " The horror. The horror!"). This dvd is a the telling of a story with the elements of horrific nightmares - it certainly does clinch the viewer, and by the end, you are left starring at the screen with these screams sinking into your mind. Excellent!!!

I won't spoil it for you; but, the period allegory is a condemnation of modern political government which requires giving up one's soul to the State. This story is pretty deep with a clear existential thread running throughout, posing questions which every individual will someday have to answer. It is a story of the social, individual and spiritual consequences of war, the fragmentation of identity, of memory for the sake of survival, and more deeply, the soul, leaving the individual a moral invalid - inhuman. There is no salvation from having to face one's own inhumanity to others, eventually one must face the moments of his lack of compassion and concern for the welfare of others! Very fatalistic - just buy it, rent it, and enjoy this experience of a nightmare the message of which is as relevant today as for any historical period.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good creepy atmosphere, but slow October 28, 2009
Interesting foreign language film (subtitles) based on a late 1500s storyline of a joint Finnish/Russian expedition working to define the border between their two countries. As they walk the actual disputed line, they commit a few unchoice acts that come back to haunt them, and also discover a village that is not on any map. Eerie things follow (trying to avoid giving a spoiler).

Overall, this was generally enjoyable. The mood maintains a dreary and eerie feeling throughout, but perhaps too much. It almost never lets up, as strange acts continue and the actors engage in several savage acts. This could be a negative; the story unendingly plods through dark territory with interspersed horror moments that more abruptly arise rather than be built up. Also, its kinda slow. The story unfolds somewhat discontinuously (which, at times, is very well done), but generally it moves from one slowly developed scene to another, all of which are more notable for the human-human brutality (which is more often implied than actually shown) than the paranormal horror.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great film!! January 7, 2010
Saw this movie trailer on YouTube and it immediately captured my interest!! It took forever to come to stores to buy and I had to really look all over town to find it. Sauna is trully a sinister and gothic movie. Everything is so dark and gloomy as well as the character brothers Eerik and Knut. Even though Eerik looks harmless with his glasses and quiet demeanor, he is unpredictable and dangerous. The other parts that scared me a little were of the woman spirit that would haunt Knut in different parts of the movie. For anyone who enjoys foreign films and doesn't mind the subtitles, I would recommend this film. A.J Annila is like M. Night Shyamalan in the sense of how his films are a little intriguing but interesting and different.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A period existential horror piece April 5, 2009
Remarkable in its abilty to immerse one in a cloying atmosphere of foreboding and dread. Most of the film's eeriest vibes are masterfully crafted through dialogue, as opposed to hollow jump scares and viscera. To simplify: Tarkovsky(Stalker, in particular) via J-Horror tropes. By raising more questions than it answers, it ultimately lingers with the viewer; a feat achieved, no doubt, by the director's design. Production values, photography and performances are all of high caliber. Certainly not a film for the ADD multiplex crowd, though...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Needs more than one viewing January 17, 2012
By Ida who
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this one. It's one of those films that you need to watch more than once. The first time I saw it, I felt lost at the end. When I watched it again, I noticed so many small details that I missed the first time around. The acting, atmosphere and score worked together to create a wonderfully creepy, thought-provoking film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I just finished watching this movie. And I must say that it is a very good horror movie. Now for many horror fans this might not be what they expect, there is no cheap scares, I did not jump once. There is hardly any gore and the plot moves very slowly. Now this is both a good thing and a bad thing. In a way the plot of the movie would not work if it moved faster, but there is a thin line between artistic buildup and boredom and at times this movie crosses that line. But overall the peacing is great. Visually this film is a feast for the eyes. It is set in a very gritty, war torn land and it has this great, dark dreary atmosphere.

The characters in this movies is wonderful. Without spoiling to much I will say that the plot is about two Swedish brothers who after a long and bloody war between Sweden and Russia is over is set together with a Russian party to draw up new borders for the two nations. Both brothers are troubled by what they have seen and done in the war. Eerik the older brother had killed 73 pepole and Knut the younger brother have locked a young girl in a cellar and left her there. The brothers begin to see ghostly apparitions of the pepole they have hurt. The film is about sin and forgiveness, but not really in the classic Christian sense. The story is gripping, unfortunately I feel that the ending was to abrupt and leaves to many questions unanswered. I do not feel like I have watched a complete story, and that cost the movie the fifth star. The ending was weak compared to the rest of the film which is excellent.

I should also mention that while this is not a creature feature, and it is not heavy on special effects. The film do have the most creepy monsters I have seen on film since Silent Hill.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars There is no other like it.
This movie is magnificent. If you consider yourself a student of film on any level, this one should be in your library. There is no other like it.
Published 26 days ago by Jackson Salazar
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Horror Film
Sauna is the most atmospheric horror film I have ever seen. Its actors are outstanding, and the cinematography and set design are perfect. I can’t recommend this movie enough. Read more
Published 5 months ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Sauna
Its hard to find a movie that leaves an impression on me but I have found one. I reccomend not watching the trailer as it does ruin the movie (trailer fail) but I can guarantee... Read more
Published on February 20, 2012 by Danna
2.0 out of 5 stars it needed more information...
The movie could have been so much better with a little more information. A group discovers a town in the middle of a swamp near a sauna. The town has no children, except one. Read more
Published on January 23, 2012 by Bookworm936
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Make Me Sweat
This is by no means a bad movie, but at the end of the day it doesn't quite hang together.

Here's the scoop. It's the close of the 16th century. Read more
Published on August 2, 2011 by Eric Sanberg
3.0 out of 5 stars OK movie.
I got this to see more of the country and films of Finland- where my husband is from. He doesn't really care for the movie. I thought it was OK. Read more
Published on January 29, 2011 by smart shopper
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, disturbing Finnish art-house/horror film hybrid
Strikingly beautiful Finnish art house 'horror' film about guilt,
religion, sin and punishment, set in the 16th century, at the end of
the Russian/Swedish war. Read more
Published on January 13, 2011 by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars The horrors within ourselves
This is a great movie! Now that that is out of the way allow me to explain why you should see this movie. Read more
Published on July 25, 2010 by Erica Tyler
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