Priest Of Evil
tells the story of a detective who is struggling after the death of one of his
daughters, and is now working on a murder case which is coming a bit too
close to home. The film opens with detective Timo Harjunpaa (Peter Franzen)
entering an incredibly filthy home that is occupied by a corpse and the
corpse’s son, Jari, who has a shot gun and is upset to be told that his mother
is dead. He freaks out, attempting to jump from the roof. But Timo is able to
calm him down. This scene basically establishes Timo’s character as a
compassionate and competent police officer.
He then goes to pick up his daughter outside a club, but
is late, and in the meantime she has been chased down and murdered by a man on
a motorcycle. The film then jumps to two years later, when Timo’s work is
suffering and his wife (Irina Bjorklund) is depressed (and she seems to blame
him for their daughter’s death). His other daughter, Paulina (Rosa Salomaa),
has dyed her hair red (seemingly as a way to separate herself from her dead sister – I love details like this). Timo is lost in
flashbacks of what their life was before, and in the present he sees
motorcycles everywhere. He tells his partner, Onerva Nykanen (Jenni Banerjee),
that he’s stopped seeing his shrink. He tells her, “Things tend to sort themselves out.”
Timo gets called in on a new case, a murder on a subway
platform. He does some investigating on his own, and chases a suspicious person
along the tracks (and miraculously gets cell phone reception in the tunnel).
The suspect gets away, which is a little unbelievable after Timo has kicked the
crap out of him. The suspect also steals Timo’s wallet, and so has his address
and other information.
We then see this suspect taking photographs of Timo and
his family (and even his daughter’s boyfriend, who enjoys cutting
himself). Meanwhile, the man who killed
Timo’s other daughter is being released from prison, and Timo is determined to
This movie’s strengths seem to lie in the plot about
Timo’s family, and the way Timo deals with the killer being released (though
there isn’t a satisfying conclusion to that aspect). The film has a kind of
tense feel, like you are really in Timo’s mind, dealing with what he has to
deal with. His is a good performance. And the stuff with his family is really
good. I love when his daughter begs him to stay.
However, the film has a strange pace, and some flaws. The
killer of the man in the subway turns out to be a serial killer, and he targets
a very specific type of person. Timo does not fit the profile of his victims at
all, so it doesn’t feel right that he should suddenly be a target of the
killer. Why is the killer so interested in Timo and his family? And why now,
two years after their daughter was killed? The film sets up a pattern and then
breaks it, which is aggravating.
Still, there are some really great moments in this film.
And I did enjoy most of the scenes that deal with the disintegration of Timo’s
Priest Of Evil
is in Finnish film with English subtitles. The DVD includes the film’s trailer,
and is scheduled to be released on May 28, 2013 by Shout! Factory.