When Animals Dream – originally titled: Når dyrene drømmer – is a 2014 Danish supernatural horror mystery and the feature film directorial debut of Jonas Alexander Arnby from a screenplay by Rasmus Birch.
Marie (Sonia Suhl) is a shy sixteen-year-old growing up in a remote fishing village in Denmark where she lives with her father Thor (Lars Mikkelsen) and mother (Sonja Richter), who is catatonic and confined to a wheelchair. She’s bothered by a strange rash that develops on her chest, only to become more unnerved when she begins to sprout hair.
Meanwhile, Marie begins working at a fish processing plant where her coworkers bully her under the false premise that it is hazing and not intended to be malicious. As Marie’s body undergoes more changes, she begins to realise that her family has been hiding strange secrets and that her mother’s current condition may relate to what Marie is currently going through…
“Tonally, this is more in line with Let the Right One In while channeling elements of Ginger Snaps. But make no mistake, this isn’t as sensational or wild or funny as the latter comparison. It’s a movie that lurks quietly in the shadows, stalking you until its ready to pounce and show you what big, sharp teeth is has.” Ryan Turek, Shock Till You Drop
“Initially too slow to share its obvious secrets, When Animals Dream only clicks into full-blooded horror mode in its final act when hairy, scary Marie embarks on a Carrie-style rampage of revenge against the neighbors who previously made her life hell. Stylish but slight, Arnby’s debut feature ultimately sticks within werewolf movie conventions, adding little fresh to the form.” The Hollywood Reporter
“This is a tremendous feature debut, haunting and elegaic, while not shying away from violence and sex. There is certainly no subtlety to the film; but then again, werewolves aren’t meant to be subtle.” Twitch
“There’s absolutely noting wrong with When Animals Dream. It’s wonderfully acted, lustfully crafted, and sinister when necessary – it’s just not the enigmatic wonder some are claiming it to be. Credit Denmark with creating a unique take on a werewolf story most studios would turn into yet another genre splatterfest, but Jonas Alexander Arnby ensures Rasmus Birch’s story is built with the right mindset.” We Got This Covered
Cast and characters:
- Sonia Suhl as Marie
- Lars Mikkelsen as Thor
- Jakob Oftebro as Daniel
- Sonja Richter as Mother
- Mads Riisom as Felix
- Benjamin Boe Rasmussen as Ib
- Esben Dalgaard as Bjarne