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sensoria

Posted on November 13, 2015

Sensoria (2015): Reviews from Ithaca Film Festival

Dawn

81 min   |  Christian Hallman |   (Sweden)   |   2015

Grade: B

Synopsis: Caroline Menard (Lanna Ohlsson) moves into a bleak apartment, with some strange neighbors, and it slowly becomes clear that she has suffered devastating losses—her husband left her, a child died (perhaps a miscarriage). She seems utterly alone with the exception of one friend, Emma (Alida Morberg), whose visit is crucially important to Caroline, although it’s clear that Caroline isn’t crucial to Emma, leaving her too early.

Sensoria is shot almost exclusively in Caroline’s ugly, sterile apartment building. The film builds suspense slowly, as Caroline walks in a slow, almost catatonic state through the routine of moving in, her senses and her affect clearly deadened. Strange things start happening—objects move on their own, act on their own; lights, electric toothbrushes, microwaves, turn on by themselves. Strange noises combine with the multitude of sounds of apartment living.

As the tension intensifies, however, its effect is undercut by the fact that we learn very early on that what haunts Caroline’s apartment is unequivocally supernatural. Given how damaged the Caroline is, the lack of ambiguity about what is happening to her seems like a missed opportunity.

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