Variety (Exclusive): TrustNordisk Thrills Multiple Territories With ‘Carousel’ and ‘Canceled’: ‘They Are Made to Entertain the Audience’

By Variety / Marta Balaga



Scandinavian sales powerhouse TrustNordisk has been racking up sales for horror films “Carousel” and “Canceled,” Variety has found out exclusively. 

Directed by Simon Sandquist, “Carousel” has been sold to Splendid Film (Germany), Selectavision (Spain) and Atnine Film (Korea), as well as Cine Video (Latin America) and Vertigo Media (Hungary). Cine Video and Vertigo Media also picked up Oskar Mellander’s “Canceled.” “I definitely see a continued demand for genre films in the market around the globe,” said TrustNordisk’s Nicolai Korsgaard, currently at Canadian genre fest Fantasia.“Coming here has been great for us in terms of scouting new projects and I see some potential collaborations in the future.

Lately, we have been increasing the number of horror films in our lineup.” Both films are produced by the Scandinavian Content Group, also behind Johannes Persson’s “Feed.” “As a dedicated horror film enthusiast, my passion for this genre fuels my interest in both ‘Canceled’ and ‘Carousel.’ However, our decision to pursue these particular movies extends beyond personal preferences,” admitted Paolo Vacirca, head of development at Scandinavian Content Group. “Beyond domestic appeal, horror movies tend to translate well across different territories, more so than other genres like comedy. Their universal themes and thrilling narratives can easily captivate diverse audiences worldwide.” “Carousel” focuses on a park ranger, Fiona, looking after former high school friends who won an exclusive Halloween sneak peek at an amusement park. But they are not alone and a fun evening turns into something sinister.

Wilma Lidén, Omar Rudberg and Amanda Lindh star, while David Ovsepian and Filip Hammarström produce. “Halloween was never a big thing here in Sweden when I grew up, but during the last 10 to 15 years it has really taken off,” explained Sandquist, mentioning being influenced by some classic 1980s horror titles. But most of all, by the film’s setting. “The chance to make a movie in [Sweden’s] Liseberg, one of Europe’s biggest amusement parks, was very enticing and something a director simply can’t pass up on. I wanted to give the movie the same scope and make it feel more like an epic adventure rather than a small, low-budget horror while still staying true to a genre that demands a lot of blood and guts,” he says.   

“At the end of the day, it should feel like you have just been on one hell of a rollercoaster ride.” In “Canceled” – featuring Vincent Grahl, Fanny Klefelt and William Wasberg – a successful TV host is going on a rollercoaster ride of his own after being exposed for faking paranormal discoveries in a ghost-hunting show. Desperate, he decides to live-stream a new investigation at an infamous Raven Castle. “This movie poses the question: ‘What are you willing to do to stay relevant when all you have is your online persona?’,” said Mellander. 

“We are not just relying on jump-scares or traditional horror tropes. Our scares are grounded in the eerie, in the uncanny, in the things just out of sight.” He adds: “It’s an exploration of fear in its purest form, the kind of fear that creeps in from the peripheries of your vision, that pricks at the back of your neck. It’s about building suspense and letting it simmer until the tension is nearly unbearable.” As noted by Paolo Vacirca, it’s an “exceptionally promising” time for Nordic genre films. 

“By expanding into horror, we aim to further showcase the range and depth of Scandinavian films. At SCG, we are focusing on commercial success: We are not interested in telling high-brow stories that are dependent on government funding, which unfortunately most Swedish films are,” he states. “We are keen to explore innovative ways of financing our movies, ensuring we can continue delivering high-quality and engaging content. It’s an exciting era for the Scandinavian film industry and we are thrilled to be part of shaping its future.” 

“Both ‘Canceled’ and ‘Carousel’ are made to entertain the audience. Not to cater to the Swedish Film Institute.”

Please find the original article here.