A Groundhog Day-esque tale gone horribly wrong as two grief-stricken parents, out on a camping trip to mend their marriage, are repeatedly terrorized by a psychopathic sideshow artist and his monstrous assistants.
Swedish filmmaker Johannes Nyholm's sophomore feature, Koko-di Koko-da, uses fairy-tale-like imagery to explore a couple's experience of guilt and loss. In a Groundhog Day meets The Blair Witch Project premise, the film centers around a doomed camping trip in which the pair are terrorized by three bizarre characters from the woods again and again. The trip commences three years after the couple, Elin (Ylva Gallon) and Tobias (Leif Edlund), tragically lost their young daughter. The blame and anxiety that have penetrated their relationship add to the tension that builds each time we see them brutalized by the trio of fairy-tale maniacs. Unlike Groundhog Day, however, the couple does not become wiser each time the loop resets. On the contrary, they become increasingly helpless as they try to escape their demise. Brief interludes of shadow-play sequences and puppetry temper the claustrophobia conveyed by the couple's experience. Meanwhile, the mood of fantasy blurring with reality is set to Simon Ohlsson and Olof Corneer's creepy music-box score. Ultimately, this film is about the inevitability of death and the impossibility of escape. Nyholm skillfully uses cinematic means to deliver this message, leaving us all with the imprint of a vast haunted forest and a nursery rhyme that, though you might try to forget it, will keep coming back.
Johannes Nyholm, born in 1974, is a Swedish director, producer, screenwriter and animator who often mixes different styles and cinematic universes. He was educated in film, art, new media and animation, and manages his own production company. Nyholm first gained recognition for his animated film series, "The Tale of Little Puppetboy" (2008), which has been shown internationally at festivals and galleries. The trailer for his short film, Las Palmas (2011), gained worldwide fame before Johannes debuted as a feature filmmaker with The Giant (2016).
Sponsored by Scarecrow Video, Joleen Hughes, founder of Hughes Media Law Group
- Original Language Title: Koko-di Koko-da
- Director: Johannes Nyholm
- Principal Cast: Leif Edlund, Ylva Gallon, Peter Belli, Katarina Jacobson
- Country: Sweden, Denmark
- Year: 2019
- Running Time: 85 minutes
- Producer: Johannes Nyholm
- Screenplay: Johannes Nyholm
- Cinematographers: Johan Lundborg, Tobias Hoiem-Flyckt
- Editors: Johannes Nyholm
- Music: Simon Ohlsson, Olof Corneer
- Filmography: The Giant (2016)
- Language: Swedish, Danish
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Stray Dogs