Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes

Film review

Post Mortem

Photo: Netflix
In “Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes,”things are never quite as they appear.

JOHN SMISTAD Olympia, Wash.

Norway and Netflix prove to be the perfect pairing.

Hot on the heels of the popular and ongoing romantic comedy series “Home for Christmas,” the online streaming entertainment giant has introduced yet another episodic Norwegian production, “Post-Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes.” Premiering in August from Oslo-based Motion Blur Films, the six-part installment mashes Norske noir and the vampire horror genre together, then seasons it with a deviant dose of dark humor. 

In the debut episode, “Post Mortem,” young Live Hallangen’s lifeless body is discovered in a field in the southeast Norway town of Skarnes. As the mystery surrounding her death unfolds, things are never quite as they may appear.

“Condolences” reveals that there may be a second chance at life as police investigate another death in Skarnes. Meanwhile, Live’s brother Odd struggles to keep the family’s failing funeral-home business on life support.

“On Behalf of the Family” finds Odd’s business beginning to come alive again. No one in Skarnes considers this to be overly strange. Yet. 

In “A Wake,” a key character suddenly goes missing. As Odd beefs up business, Live is harboring evidence she wants to get rid of. Quickly.

“Baptism by Fire” chronicles suspicion developing around that mysterious disappearance of a town resident introduced into the story during the previous episode. Live learns what may be happening to her from the town doctor. And Odd is relishing his mortuary’s newfound revenue. Ah, but there’s always a catch.

Post Mortem

Photo: Netflix
In the episode “Rigor Mortis,” Live and Reinert try to do a little good amid a whole lot of bad.

Matters come to a head with the sixth and final episode of Season 1, “Rigor Mortis.” Live acts on her conscience, Odd struggles with his own moral compass, and heinous hunches reach a fever pitch.

Music buffs are bound to be delighted by this soundtrack, as it features Norwegian songs made popular from the 1950s through the 1970s. Performers include Stein Ove Berg, Elisabeth Granneman, Kurt Foss and Reidar Bøe.

No word yet on whether Netflix will order a Season 2 of “Post-Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes.” Still, prospects would appear to be positive. 

After all, with a nod to the plot points pondered, one can never say die, can one? 

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 22, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

John Smistad

John Smistad is a published author of short stories, poems, essays, and movie reviews. He lives and loves with his family and cat in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. He is the fiercely proud son of a native Norwegian dad. (He loves his mom, too.) You can follow him as on his blog at thequickflickcritic.blogspot.com.

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