Sauna

2008, Horror, 1h 23m

4 Reviews 1,000+ Ratings

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Movie Info

In 16th-century Finland, a merciless warrior and his brother encounter vengeful ghosts.

Cast & Crew

Sonja Petäjäjärvi
Boy
Ismo Kallio
Village Elder
Panu Aaltio
Original Music
Henri Blomberg
Cinematographer
Joona Louhivuori
Film Editor
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Sauna

All Critics (4) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (1)

  • Sauna cleverly uses history and religious faith to spin a surreal tale of guilt, sin, and redemption.

    May 1, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • ...one of the most repugnant and flat-out contemptible cinematic experiences to come around in quite some time.

    March 11, 2011 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…
  • Similar in style to the brilliant Let the Right One In, this story of blame and belief, terror and trepidation uses an unfamiliar era and event to lay the foundation for one undeniable work of fear.

    October 31, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Director AJ Annila bends the tone before our eyes ... We follow his lead and don't give a damn if it all amounts to nonsense.

    July 22, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Sauna cleverly uses history and religious faith to spin a surreal tale of guilt, sin, and redemption.

    May 1, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • ...one of the most repugnant and flat-out contemptible cinematic experiences to come around in quite some time.

    March 11, 2011 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…
  • Similar in style to the brilliant Let the Right One In, this story of blame and belief, terror and trepidation uses an unfamiliar era and event to lay the foundation for one undeniable work of fear.

    October 31, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Director AJ Annila bends the tone before our eyes ... We follow his lead and don't give a damn if it all amounts to nonsense.

    July 22, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5

Audience Reviews for Sauna

  • Oct 12, 2015
    The battle-hardened butcher is going blind. His more compassionate brother sees too much. This movie is essentially a long meditation on guilt. It is dull and heavily symbolic in the sense that people have associated with European cinema since 'The Seventh Seal' but it's also very atmospheric and the visuals are crisply bleak. It's the kind of film that haunts you after it's over, though it will disappoint traditional horror fans looking for money shots and jump-scares. A bleak and nihilistic trek towards inevitable damnation.
    Charles B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2011
    I'm a sucker for moody hauting movies and I might be a bit too kind on this one, but everything here is done superbly. The acting, the amoral choices, the creepy mythology and situations. Just lacks a bit on delivering more historical insight and mythology. Very much like Valhalla Rising, with everything that movie had, refined and not so vague. And that damn ending creeped the living shit out of me, props for that too.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Aug 25, 2010
    Hmm. Someone's going to need to explain this movie to me. Is there a boogeymonster that's so well-known in Finnish (Russian?) folklore that its presence is fully understood and taken for granted? I still have no idea what was attacking these people, how or why. But that's part of what makes it so scary. That and the fact tat the director is a damned inventive manipulative bastard. His clever blend of static and hand-held camera shots
    Emily A Super Reviewer
  • Jun 04, 2010
    "Wash your sins" Finnish horror movies come out maybe once in a decade. I can't recall seeing another horror movie from Finland before 'Sauna'. A-J Annila has taken a highly ambitious task on his hands but he doesn't nail it completely. It is the late 16th century and the 25 year lasting war between Sweden/Finkand and Russia has ended. Eerik and Knut are two brothers, part of a border-recognition treaty detachment. On their journey to solve the differences between the two nations, Eerik murders someone at the beginning of the film. After that, 'Sauna' runs completely around the consequences of this tragic event. They come to a town in the middle of nowhere. There is an old sauna... 'Sauna' has an interesting basis but A-J Annila can't completely hold his "strings attached". The beginning of the film makes the story develop nicely but midthrough when the lead characters are torned by sin and guilt, the story just scatters in different directions. I'm not sure if the director was even sure of how he wanted the movie to end? 'Sauna's' strength lies in its psychological horror. It's a good thing that Annila did not include cheap spooky effects. The visual image of the film is also beautiful. There's no doubt that Annila is one of the most talented directors coming from Finland. Ville Virtanen, who has made a long career in Finland, gives a strong performance as Eerik. I was very surprised of his performance as I remember him best as a comedic actor. 'Sauna' had some very good potential but maybe Annila's experience isn't at the level required to make a full feature film? Strongly recommended though to all fans of different kind of horror.
    Jani H Super Reviewer

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