'The Chestnut Man' Review: Dutch series is bone-chilling and downright eerie
With a mysterious plot and complicated characters, 'The Chestnut Man' is a classic Scandi noir and an ideal show to binge-watch!
If you're one to enjoy a good TV series similar to 'The Killing' and are looking for a crime-thriller, to begin with, look no further! 'The Chestnut Man' has a macabre appeal of Nordic noir and is a psychological thriller about a serial killer who's out for revenge. It goes without saying that the drop of new thrillers is always a huge deal among crowds that appreciate the genre and dive deep into every aspect of such series.
The Danish series has six episodes and is available to watch on Netflix. The story is adapted from the novel by Soren Sveistrup alongside Dorte W Hogh serving as writers for the series, which seems finely calibrated for just that crowd. Being a majorly grim affair, a twisted story of missing arms, feet and dead bodies, coupled with chestnut figurines, the storyline is well-paced and quite engaging. You will want to watch the next episode right after.
Naia Thulin (Danica Curcic) is a single mom and part of the homicide police department. Incidentally, she is partnered with an enigmatic person, Mark Hess (Mikkel Boe Folgaard), who has been reluctantly reassigned from Interpol to investigate the murder of a woman whose body was discovered in a children’s playground with a missing hand and a little chestnut man - a miniature figurine built from chestnuts and matchsticks or twigs to resemble a person.
The episodes pick up pace as it becomes pretty evident that this case assigned to him may have a connection to one from a year prior. In the previous case, the daughter of parliamentary minister Rosa Hartung (Iben Dorner) was brutally murdered. That case was thoroughly worked on but was forced to close over time due to lack of evidence and/or leads.
On a completely aesthetic note, the fall season in Denmark makes for a vivid color palate than usual, giving the show a visual style of its own. The splashes of blood, albeit pretty gory, are found often and in plenty throughout the series. Although the backdrop of most searches is picturesque, the bodies when found are the exact opposite - horrifying and unsettling. The broken and hurt characters find themselves shuffling their way through this serial killer plot and make for excellent guides with each episode.
One can literally see the confidence of experience in Sveistrup's work as is felt in both the writing and the in par direction. Language really isn't a barrier when the plot is intriguing in itself. You know you’re in for a rollercoaster ride when the first few scenes in the very first episode leave you yearning for more. With a series so short in just six episodes, 'The Chestnut Man' is definitely an irresistible and a must-watch.
'The Chestnut Man' is currently streaming on Netflix.