Darkness: Those Who Kill (Den som dræber – Fanget af mørket) streaming on Acorn TV is a serial killer thriller from Denmark. The Danish language take on the topic is not exactly like other series in this genre, but comes close.
Darkness: Those Who Kill (Den som dræber – Fanget af mørket) was created by a woman, Ina Bruhn. At first I wasn’t going to watch it because I’m burned out on stories about men who rape and abuse women. The woman creator convinced me to give it a try. I was both happy and unhappy with this decision.
There have been series in this genre that I thought were excellent. The Fall and Hidden being two examples. Darkness: Those Who Kill bears a resemblance. We know who the killer(s) is early on. There’s a woman working with the police to catch the bad guys. We see the latest victims and connect with them in hopes they survive.
There are a few differences, too. The female lead, Louise (Natalie Madueño) isn’t a cop. She’s a profiler who wanted to quit doing that kind of work but got talked into helping with this one case. The killer isn’t working alone – that’s a new twist. The difference I really didn’t like was the amount of violence against women and the number of rapes we were forced to watch.
For what is was, the series is very well done. It’s beautifully filmed. The actors are excellent. The suspense grows in every episode. The clues and leads build from episode to episode until there’s a big exciting climax followed by a bit of calm closure.
Jan (Kenneth M. Christensen) is the cop in charge of the case. He works with several others, most notably the initials-only MT (Peter Mygind), who should be familiar to fans of Danish television.
Another familiar face is Tessa Hoder as Emma, the final kidnap victim that the police desperately want to get there in time to save.
Although the opening of the series showed Emma learning karate, she never fought back as much as I wanted her to. All the victims were submissive. I wanted them to do more to save themselves.
I must also mention Anders (Mads Riisom) and Stine (Signe Egholm Olsen) as important characters.
Because the police worked so closely with Louise, the psychological depths of the killers’ minds were explored. Childhood traumas and the outright insanity they can engender were studied closely. The message was if you’re horrible to your kids, they grow up to be horrible themselves.
I liked the character Louise. Natalie Madueño made the series. I’ll probably check out some of her other work if I can find it in the US. But I thought the pickup on the idea that there was more than one person at work in the killings was really slow. It wasn’t believable to me that a professional profiler could recognize the fact that details of the killings didn’t match, yet not come to the idea of multiple bad guys.
Overall, a well done example of the genre but be aware of multiple triggering scenes.
Here’s a trailer from the UK.
Are you going to give this suspense mystery a try?