Modus centres around a mysterious, determined-looking man going round committing seemingly random murders, often quite brutal. Deep into the series, you’re left wondering why he’s doing them, and (a) will he stop, and (b) will we ever find out the reason?
Chancing upon his first killing is young Stina (Lily Wahlsteen), staying in a hotel with her author and former FBI criminal profiler mother, Inger Johanne Vik (Melinda Kinnaman), and sister, Linnea (Siw Erixon). With Stina having witnessed the initial offing, and with the man seeing her looking back at him, naturally, she’s frightened.
The character of Stina is also autistic, although while I don’t know a huge amount about autism other than what films and TV offer up, I didn’t realise she was at first, and just assumed she was a scared child as anyone of her age would be, but as her divorced parents, her father being Isak (Simon J Berger), figure out the reason for her silence, amongst all the bodies dropping like flies around Christmas, the scene is set for a highly engaging eight-part drama. And since women are being murdered, and with Inger writing about the murders of famous women, Swedish cop Ingvar Nyman (Henrik Norlén) looks for her input, one of her opening gambits to them being that the key thing she learned at the FBI was that everyone has a weak point that can be challenged.
Overall, Modus Season 1 starts off brilliantly, but does rather slow down in the second half, and could’ve been cut down to 6 episodes in total.
In addition, every episode ends with a cliffhanger of some sort, so it’s best to be able to see them back to back, rather than two per week as BBC4 aired them. That said, they didn’t broadcast the show until a year after it aired in Sweden, so with Series 2 pencilled in for sometime in 2017, let’s hope we get it sooner rather than later.
Presented in the original 16:9 ratio, the picture is pin-sharp with gorgeous establishing shots of Sweden mixed in with dark scenes (in both look and tone) when required. There are zero defects with the print.
The sound is in DTS 5.1, and it has a pleasing score, but I didn’t notice anything going on in the rear channels. The dialogue is in Swedish with some unsubtitled English mixed in, occasionally mid-sentence. Is that normal in Europe? It comes across as rather odd.
Sadly, as was the case with Braquo Season 4, there are no extras on this release, so technically the overall score loses points for that, but it’s certainly worth a purchase.
The menu features static links to the four episodes on each of two discs, with atmospheric music playing in the background.
Naturally, there are subtitles in English, and they are also optional, so if you are Swedish and have bought this, you’ll can switch them off. Personally, I would also like the English dialogue bits to be subtitled as well, since the accents in most European dramas aren’t always easy to fully understand. Chapters are thin on the ground with just 6 per episode.
Annoying, there are trailers before the main menu which I can live without. These should be placed in an extras menu.
Running time: 8 * 45 minutes
Released: December 19th 2016
Cat no: FCD1425
Chapters: 6 per episode
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS 5.1
Languages: Swedish (with some English)
Disc Format: 2*BD50
Directors: Lisa Siwe and Mani Maserrat Agah
Producer: Sandra Harms
Writers: Mai Brostrøm and Peter Thorsboe (based on the novel by Anne Holt)
Music: Jacob Groth
Inger Johanne Vik: Melinda Kinnaman
Ingvar Nyman: Henrik Norlén
Richard Forrester: Marek Oravec
Isak Aronson: Simon J Berger
Stina Vik: Esmeralda Struwe
Linnea Vik: Lily Wahlsteen
Erik Lindgren: Krister Henriksson
Elisabeth Lindgren: Cecilia Nilsson
Lukas Lindgren: Johan Widerberg
Astrid Friberg: Ellen Jelinek
Marcus Ståhl: Magnus Roosmann
Rolf Ljungberg: Peter Jöback
Patricia Green: Liv Mjönes
Sophie Dahlberg: Josefine Tengblad
Noah Ståhl: Primus Lind
Kerstin Vik: Siw Erixon
Freddy Vik: Morten Faldaas
Lisa Vik: Amelia Drake
Isabella Levin: Julia Dufvenius
Tobias Faber: Mårten Klingberg
Jasmin: Ida Wallfelt
Lastbilschauffören: Peter Edding
Marianne Larsson: Eva Melander
Susanna: Ellen Fosti
Moa Nordin: Anna Ulrica Ericsson
Hasse: Per Ragnar
Lennart Carlsson: Simon Norrthon
Körpojke: Hannes af Geijerstam
Gunilla Larsson: Anki Lidén
Alfred Nyman: Björn Andersson
Maria Lindgren: Chantelle Bagara
Alexander Lindgren: Keyon Bagara
Viveka Wallin: Suzanne Reuter
Ulrika Sjöberg: Alexandra Rapaport
Niclas Rosén: Giovanni Bucchieri
Robin: Christoffer Jareståhl
Hakim Hammar: Philip Martin
Alexandra: Sofie Rosell
Hedvig Nyström: Annika Hallin
Jacob Lundström: Stephen Rappaport
Kevin: Oscar Rosberg
Thora: Ronja Svedmark
Britt: Sascha Zacharias
Dharma: Marianne Wassbotn Klasson
Elsa: Chatarina Larsson
Ulf: Anders Beckman
Magnus: Kalled Mustonen
Tim Jacobsen: Pierre Tafvelin
Fanny: Leona Axelsen
Hawre: Simon Settergren
Annika: Tind Soneby
Jonatan: Josef Belzikoff
Birgitta: Suzanne Ernrup
Karen: Jo Rideout
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.