One Line Review: Breakthrough in the zombie niche.
It has now been a year since the Icelandic volcano Katla erupted. But the population of the small nearby village is still struggling with the consequences. So it is practically cut off from the outside world, hardly anyone goes in or out. The surprise is all the greater when one day a woman covered in ashes suddenly appears. And she’s not the only one, more and more people are there at once, even though they shouldn’t be there. People who disappeared months ago. People who are long dead and buried. And people who already exist and are very much alive. But what is it all about? Where are you from? And why don’t they remember what happened before?
After a volcanic eruption, a number of people covered in ashes appear in an Icelandic village, who shouldn’t be there. “Katla” presents a delightful riddle, but is ultimately more interested in telling the stories of the villagers. That may not be satisfactory, but it is performed atmospherically and with a lot of melancholy.
Dark by tradition
When Baltasar Kormákur reports back with new work, you actually already know in advance: Now it’s getting dark! At least the films and series that the Icelander made in his homeland are examples of artistic abysses that genre fans can enjoy. Due to the volcanic occurrences, outsiders can only get in with an official permit. Unlike the two above titles, however, this is neither a crime story nor a thriller, even if this was sometimes claimed beforehand. Instead, the mystery aspect is in the foreground when a number of people appear who should not even exist. With the in-house bestseller Dark but despite frequent comparisons, all this has in common is the label on the drawer. Even if there is a lot of puzzling and puzzling here, it’s actually about something different.
What to do with the dead
A comparison with The Returned would be much more appropriate. In both cases, the dead reappears in a mysterious way, have not aged a day since their death, and do not know what happened there. What both series have in common is that the search for explanations is only an accompanying phenomenon. Relationships with one another are more important, especially the question: How do I deal with the fact that someone I have accepted as dead is part of my life again? Confusion and joy lie with Katla close together, for example when the dead son is back. In addition, there is also a little fear, because secretly everyone knows, of course, that this cannot be true. But as it is when you love another person, you turn a blind eye. After all, an illusion can also be quite nice.
Not everyone will like that in front of the screens at home. If you stick with it mainly because of the breakup, Katla will be disappointed. The series does not give any answers until late at all. They remain so vague that you don’t really get much further. Also, typically Netflix, there is a very open ending to justify another season. For this reason alone, a continuation would be desirable, the direction indicated is attractive.