Danish film The Guilty premiered overseas earlier this year and it has been getting rave reviews, going on to be an international festival hit. The hype has been so strong with the movie that director Gustav Moller has already been offered a lot of money from major studios to do an English language remake, which he politely turned down. The Guilty will make its United States debut in October of this year and the first North American trailer has just been released.

Gustav Moller's The Guilty first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, where it won the Audience Award in the World Dramatic Competition section, and then went on to gain more acclaim across the festival circuit. The film takes place entirely inside of a 911 call center, which may not sound too thrilling, but just one viewing of the trailer will have you hooked. Reviews have called the movie "riveting," and more than one review states that the film does not relent.

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The Guilty takes place in a 911 call center in Denmark after police officer Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren) is demoted to desk work. He expects a sleepy beat as an emergency dispatcher, but that all changes when he answers a panicked 911 call from a kidnapped woman who then disconnects abruptly. Asger, confined to the police station, is forced to use others as his eyes and ears as the severity of the crime slowly becomes clearer. The search to find the missing woman and her assailant will take every bit of his intuition and skill, as a ticking clock and his own personal demons conspire against him.

The Guilty is an innovative and unrelenting Danish thriller, ratcheting up the tension as twists pile up and secrets are revealed. Jakob Cedergren's strong performance is said to anchor the movie and places the audience squarely in his character's head, which isn't always such a pretty place to be. For inspiration, Gustav Moller got it from two unlikely sources. The first was the Serial podcast and the other was a 20-minute real-life 911 call on YouTube where a woman was able to speak in code to the dispatcher. As for inspiration from other films, Moller says that Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon was a big touchstone for the frantic feel of The Guilty.

The Guilty opens in the United States on October 19th and was made with a meager budget of $570,671. In the beginning, Gustav Moller states that he wanted to make a movie that starts off as a crime thriller, complete with stereotypes of the genre and a story that was simple enough to pull people in from the start. However, The Guilty doesn't look like a stereotypical film in the slightest. As for a remake in English, one shouldn't hold their breath. You can check out the first U.S. trailer for The Guilty below, provided by the Magnolia Pictures YouTube channel.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick