tek's rating:

Ragnarok (PG-13)
Dread Central (UK DVD); IMDb; Lost Highway; Magnet Releasing; Rotten Tomatoes; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; Hulu; iTunes; Vudu; YouTube

This is a Norwegian film, which came out in 2013 (in Norway) and 2014 in the U.S., but I didn't see it until 2018. I'm putting my review under "giant monsters," even though we don't actually see the monster until more than halfway through the movie. And even then, it doesn't really get a lot of screen time. Anyway, the movie feels similar to other things, like Jurassic Park. And while it's not nearly as good as that movie, it's still decent.

The movie begins with a brief scene of some Vikings, 1000 years ago, apparently trying to capture or kill some giant lake monster. We don't see the monster, of course, but we get the sense that the Vikings are going to die. They're led by a king, I guess, but his daughter, Asa, is also a queen, and she objects to what her father is doing. He really should have listened to her.

In the present, there's a Norwegian archaeologist named Sigurd, who has to give a presentation to a group of investors, because the museum where he works is in need of further financing for their research. The investors don't care for Sigurd's presentation, and pull their funding. So I guess Sigurd gets fired. But it's time for his summer vacation, anyway. He is a widower (I guess his wife was a fellow archaeologist, who died five years ago of cancer), and he's raising a daughter named Ragnhild and son named Brage. They'd like to go to Spain for the summer, but he has simpler plans. However, that changes when his colleague, Allan, returns from exploring along the coast of Finnmark (a county in northern Norway), having found a rune stone. Sigurd and Allan had a theory about Vikings having traveled to Finnmark, though there's not much evidence to support that. Until Sigurd translates the runes on the stone. So, he and Allan and the kids go to Finnmark for the summer, along with Allan's assistant, Elisabeth, and a guide named Leif. They go to a small island, which no one has been on since World War II, when the Russians had a base there. Brage finds a cave, which they all begin exploring, and discover 1000-year-old Viking artifacts, thus proving Sigurd's theory. Of course, they eventually have to try to survive when the lake monster inevitably attacks.

Beyond that, I don't want to spoil any details. Nothing about it really struck me as particularly surprising or original, but like I said, it's still decent. And reasonably scary. And I guess I don't know what else to say. (Except that the movie's attempt to justify the title seemed pretty weak to me. I don't know much of anything about the Norse myth of Ragnarok, but I don't think this movie bore any similarity to it.)

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