Valhalla Rising

July 16th 2010
  • Action/Historical,
  • Unrated,
  • 93 min,
  • IFC Releasing
  • Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Gary Lewis, Jamie Sives, Ewan Stewart, Alexander Morton, Andrew Flanagan, Gary McCormack, Gordon Brown, Callum Mitchell, Douglas Russell, Maarten Stevenson, Mathew Zajac, Robert Harrison, Stewart Porter, Rony Bridges, James Ramsey, P.B. McBeath
  • Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Writers: Nicolas Winding Refn, Roy Jacobsen
  • Producers: Johnny Andersen, Henrik Danstrup, Bo Ehrhardt
  • Co Producer: Karen Smyth
  • Executive Producers: Christine Alderson, Lene Børglum, Yves Chevalier, Linda James, Mads Peter Ole Olsen, Carole Sheridan, Sigurjon Sighvatsson, Thor Sigurjonsson
  • Art Direction: Natalie Astridge
  • Castings: Des Hamilton, Jina Jay
  • D.O.P.: Morten Søborg
  • Editor: Matthew Newman
  • Makeup: Niamh Morrison
  • Music: Peter Kyed
  • Production Design: Laurel Wear


"Valhalla Rising" tells the story of One-Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, who has been held prisoner by the chieftain Barde for many years. Aided by a boy, Are, he kills his captor and together they escape, beginning a journey into the heart of darkness. On their flight, One-Eye and Are board a Viking vessel but the ship is soon engulfed by an endless fog that first disintegrates as they sight an unknown land. As the new land reveals its secrets and the Vikings meet a ghastly fate, One-Eye discovers his true self. Referencing masters like Akira Kurosawa Sergio Leone, and Andrei Tarkovsky, "Valhalla Rising" shows how carnage, once invoked, has no fealty but to itself.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: Scotland, UK
  • Production Budget: £4,000,000
  • Production Companies: BBC Films, La Belle Allee Productions, NWR Film Productions, Nimbus Film Productions, One Eye Production, Savalas Audio Post-Production

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2010 Guide Analysis: ""Pusher" film series writer/director Nicholas Winding Refn scored a lot of new fans with his Brit indie biopic hit "Bronson" last year. That film however was just a side project made during production on this long-awaited viking opus from the Danish helmer. Sadly for him, festival screenings of 'Valhalla' have yielded very mixed reviews - mostly for its underdeveloped screenplay.

Vividly shot and richly atmospheric thanks to some stunning location shooting in the Scottish Highlands, the visual and aesthetics of this historical tale were highly praised but the slow and deliberate pacing were not. The film's eerie beauty is apparently let down by a weak story, poor characterisation and tin-eared dialogue - only the initial act and odd moments of violence offering any real glimpse of life.

Those going in expecting either the same kind of energy as "Bronson" or the more brutish action spectacle of viking movies past will leave quite disappointed. Those however seeking something more arthouse and deliberate may find rewards in this that will skip most by. Expect a disappointing theatrical run followed by a healthy cult audience reception on DVD and Blu-ray later in the year."

Trailers & Clips

Worldwide Release Dates

  • 5 March 2010: Denmark
  • 10 March 2010: France
  • 31 March 2010: Sweden
  • 30 April 2010: Finland, UK