Scandinavian crime dramas have become so prevalent—thanks in part to Netflix including so much foreign content on their platform—that they’ve inspired the occasional sketch comedy parody. And now we’re getting Norway’s take on the supernatural police procedural, with vampires: Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes. Netflix just released some first-look images on the heels of dropping the official trailer last week, and Post Mortem looks like the darker cousin of iZombie and The Santa Clarita Diet with a dash of Six Feet Under.
Directed by Harald Zwart (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The Karate Kid) with Petter Holmsen (who also serves as head writer), the six-episode series is “an intriguing mix of thriller, drama, and supernatural elements,” according to Tesha Crawford, director of Nordic original series at Netflix. Per the official premise:
Live Hallangen is declared dead. Hours later she suddenly wakes up on the forensic table. A dark, insatiable hunger has awoken in her. Meanwhile, her brother Odd tries to keep the family driven funeral home afloat, but the stagnant death rate in the small Norwegian town of Skarnes makes it impossible. Live has to learn to control her new dangerous nature and decide if she is willing to sacrifice people’s lives for her own survival, which ironically goes hand in hand with the survival of the family business.
Kathrine Thorborg Johansen stars as Live, Elias Holmsen Sorensen plays Odd, Kim Fairchild plays Judith, Andre Sorum is Reinert, Sarah Khorami is Rose, and Terje Stromdahl is Arvid. In a statement, Zwart praised his cast members, saying that they all “embody the blend of Scandinavian mystique and dark humor.”
The trailer opens with Live waking up in a hospital. Odd tells her that everyone thought she was dead after her body was found in a field. The responding officers processed the scene and transported her body to the morgue—at which point she woke up on the autopsy table. Officers Judith and Reinert are beside themselves about the mix-up, although Judith adds, “In our defense, you seemed really dead.”
Live soon realizes she isn’t quite herself. There’s the sudden onset of insomnia, and her senses are strangely heightened—so much so that she can hear a person’s pulse. Also, her eyes have changed color to a rich emerald, and she finds that she is significantly stronger. Then there’s her growing thirst for blood, culminating in a shot of Live waking up with her mouth covered in it—hopefully from the local blood bank, but Officer Judith has her suspicions that something stranger is going on. Odd, for his part, is happy to admit that he wishes there were a serial killer on the loose, as at least that would drum up some much-needed business for his funeral home.
A dive into the family archives reveals that Live’s mother may have suffered from a similar malady, shrieking about just needing “a little blood” on the preserved tapes. There’s a strange naked figure with a yellow bag over its head, a shot of Live being chloroformed, and an outbreak of fire—one of the things that definitely kills a vampire. All in all, Post Mortem looks like an entertaining series. Coming on the heels of the Netflix horror thriller Blood Red Sky (essentially “Vampires on a Plane”), bloodsuckers seem to be pushing back against the pop-culture dominance of zombies over the last decade.
Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes drops on Netflix on August 25, 2021.
Listing image by YouTube/Netflix