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''Insomnia'' is a 1997 Norwegian PsychologicalThriller film directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg and starring Creator/StellanSkarsgard, and a 2002 American remake directed by Creator/ChristopherNolan and starring Creator/AlPacino, Creator/RobinWilliams, and Creator/HilarySwank. Both films were critical darlings, and the remake in particular became a box office hit.

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''Insomnia'' is a 1997 Norwegian PsychologicalThriller film directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg and starring Creator/StellanSkarsgard, and a 2002 American remake directed by Creator/ChristopherNolan and starring Creator/AlPacino, Creator/RobinWilliams, and Creator/HilarySwank. Both films were critical darlings, and the remake remake, in particular particular, became a box office hit.



** [[spoiler:Engström/Dormer accidentally shoots his partner while they're tracking the killer through the mist (in the remake, he covers it up because he had a motive for killing him). Towards the end however, not even he is sure whether it was an accident or not.]]

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** [[spoiler:Engström/Dormer accidentally shoots his partner while they're tracking the killer through the mist (in the remake, he covers it up because he had a motive for killing him). Towards the end end, however, not even he is sure whether it was an accident or not.]]



* AndYourLittleDogToo: [[spoiler:In the original, Holt threatens to get Ane next if Engström doesn't back off. He was evidently only bluffing though, since he never did it. In the remake, Finch ''does'' go through with it, capturing Ellie.]]

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* AndYourLittleDogToo: [[spoiler:In the original, Holt threatens to get Ane next if Engström doesn't back off. He was evidently only bluffing bluffing, though, since he never did it. In the remake, Finch ''does'' go through with it, capturing Ellie.]]



* AlasPoorVillain: In the end of the original, [[spoiler:Engström stops to contemplate Holt, who fell through a decayed pier as he tried to run away, breaking his neck and then slipping into the sea, as Holt slowly drowns]]. All in all, the killer is quite a bit more [[TheWoobie pathetic]] here than in the remake, where he is ever-so bit worse.
* AntiVillain: In the original, [[spoiler:Holt]] the killer. On one hand, he ''is'' a devious, cowardly murderer, but the again, he is very clearly a damaged soul who keeps atoning for it throughout the film.

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* AlasPoorVillain: In the end of the original, [[spoiler:Engström stops to contemplate Holt, who fell through a decayed pier as he tried to run away, breaking his neck and then slipping into the sea, as Holt slowly drowns]]. All in all, the killer is quite a bit more [[TheWoobie pathetic]] here than in the remake, where he is ever-so a bit worse.
* AntiVillain: In the original, [[spoiler:Holt]] the killer. On one hand, he ''is'' a devious, cowardly murderer, but the then again, he is very clearly a damaged soul who keeps atoning for it throughout the film.



* BlackAndGreyMorality: The remake. The killer is a cheerful and smiling, but ice-cold psychopath, while Dormer is a angst-ridden DirtyCop who genuinely tries to do good in an indifferent world, but is forced to dig himself deeper into an inexcusable pit. The two men's relationship could, at best, be likened to a fish caught helplessly in the fisherman's hook.

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* BlackAndGreyMorality: The remake. The killer is a cheerful and smiling, but ice-cold psychopath, while Dormer is a an angst-ridden DirtyCop who genuinely tries to do good in an indifferent world, but is forced to dig himself deeper into an inexcusable pit. The two men's relationship could, at best, be likened to a fish caught helplessly in the fisherman's hook.



* {{Delinquents}}: The victim's boyfriend. When Dormer interrogate's him, he at first tries to affect what Dormer calls a "fuck the world" attitude. After Dormer points out that the boyfriend is making himself out to be the prime suspect through his own stupidity, the kid is more forthcoming.

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* {{Delinquents}}: The victim's boyfriend. When Dormer interrogate's interrogates him, he at first tries to affect what Dormer calls a "fuck the world" attitude. After Dormer points out that the boyfriend is making himself out to be the prime suspect through his own stupidity, the kid is more forthcoming.



* FauxAffablyEvil: The killer, at least in the remake, tries to be friendly and sympathetic to Dormer. When Dormer is in the killers home, he calls Dormer up and says he can use the shower if he wants. He also talks about the great respect he has for the police, and even offers to listen if Dormer wants to talk about his partner. Though it's pretty obvious, even to the sleep deprived Dormer, that the killer isn't doing this out of the kindness of his heart, but as a means to an end.
* FilleFatale: Katharine Isabelle's character in the remake. She's underaged, but she tries to flirt with Detective Dormer, who is clearly uninterested. But she's just as clearly used to using her body to get her way, so she doesn't notice. The whole reason he took her for a drive was to interrogate her later. [[BreakTheCutie She doesn't take well to his interrogation method]] .

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* FauxAffablyEvil: The killer, at least in the remake, tries to be friendly and sympathetic to Dormer. When Dormer is in the killers killer's home, he calls Dormer up and says he can use the shower if he wants. He also talks about the great respect he has for the police, police and even offers to listen if Dormer wants to talk about his partner. Though it's pretty obvious, even to the sleep deprived sleep-deprived Dormer, that the killer isn't doing this out of the kindness of his heart, but as a means to an end.
* FilleFatale: Katharine Isabelle's character in the remake. She's underaged, underage, but she tries to flirt with Detective Dormer, who is clearly uninterested. But she's just as clearly used to using her body to get her way, so she doesn't notice. The whole reason he took her for a drive was to interrogate her later. [[BreakTheCutie She doesn't take well to his interrogation method]] .method]].



* FramingTheGuiltyParty: [[spoiler: The detective's sin (he forged evidence in order to get a killer convicted), which he is concerned internal investigations will discover. Also, killer's rationale for framing the dead girl's abusive boyfriend.]]

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* FramingTheGuiltyParty: [[spoiler: The detective's sin (he forged evidence in order to get a killer convicted), which he is concerned internal investigations will discover. Also, the killer's rationale for framing the dead girl's abusive boyfriend.]]



* LetMeAtHim: Invoked by the detective, who is being blackmailed by the killer for an incident in which he accidentally shot his partner. During the interrogation the actual killer tries to steer the cops to suspect Kay's abusive boyfriend with a "smoking gun" piece of evidence. In the remake, Dormer has to get out of the interrogation room so he can find the weapon before the cops search the boyfriend's apartment, so he aggressively questions and tries to hit him so his colleagues will think he's overworked and let him out for a while).

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* LetMeAtHim: Invoked by the detective, who is being blackmailed by the killer for an incident in which he accidentally shot his partner. During the interrogation interrogation, the actual killer tries to steer the cops to suspect Kay's abusive boyfriend with a "smoking gun" piece of evidence. In the remake, Dormer has to get out of the interrogation room so he can find the weapon before the cops search the boyfriend's apartment, so he aggressively questions and tries to hit him so his colleagues will think he's overworked and let him out for a while).



* OnceMoreWithClarity: As is the case with Creator/ChristopherNolan films, there's a couple shots that take on a new significance when they're shown again later. The movie opens with an extreme closeup of a white cloth being stained with something red, presumably blood. [[spoiler: Much later it turns out that this wasn't the victim's blood on her clothes, but blood Dormer was planting on someone clothes in a completely different case, and accidentally getting some on his shirt sleeve]]. A little later, we get snippets of a girl laughing, which looks like Dormer imagining the victim alive and happy. [[spoiler: Then Finch tells Dormer about how he killed the victim for laughing at him. We see the shot again, but this time her laughter is cut short by a blow to the head.]]
* PetTheDog: [[spoiler:Walter Finch]] in the remake is a cold-blooded murderer and a literal example who owns two labrador retrievers. When Detective Dormer tracks him down to his apartment the killer is forced to flee, but calls back to make a deal with Dormer and asks him to feed his dogs if he's there anyway. In the original, Holt might be deranged, but nevertheless grief-stricken over what he did.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:The detective's sins keep accumulating throughout the film. First he is living with the guilt of betraying his own ethics to get a criminal behind bars, then of shooting his partner possibly intentionally, then of helping another murderer get away to protect his legacy. In the remake, Dormer atones by turning against Finch, but dies in the shootout shortly after killing Finch.]]

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* OnceMoreWithClarity: As is the case with Creator/ChristopherNolan films, there's a couple of shots that take on a new significance when they're shown again later. The movie opens with an extreme closeup of a white cloth being stained with something red, presumably blood. [[spoiler: Much later it turns out that this wasn't the victim's blood on her clothes, but blood Dormer was planting on someone clothes in a completely different case, and accidentally getting some on his shirt sleeve]]. A little later, we get snippets of a girl laughing, which looks like Dormer imagining the victim alive and happy. [[spoiler: Then Finch tells Dormer about how he killed the victim for laughing at him. We see the shot again, but this time her laughter is cut short by a blow to the head.]]
* PetTheDog: [[spoiler:Walter Finch]] in the remake is a cold-blooded murderer and a literal example who owns two labrador Labrador retrievers. When Detective Dormer tracks him down to his apartment the killer is forced to flee, but calls back to make a deal with Dormer and asks him to feed his dogs if he's there anyway. In the original, Holt might be deranged, but nevertheless grief-stricken over what he did.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:The detective's sins keep accumulating throughout the film. First First, he is living with the guilt of betraying his own ethics to get a criminal behind bars, then of shooting his partner possibly intentionally, then of helping another murderer get away to protect his legacy. In the remake, Dormer atones by turning against Finch, but dies in the shootout shortly after killing Finch.]]



* ToBeLawfulOrGood: How the detective initially sees the choices he makes. In the remake, that desire persists to the end. In the original, [[SlidingScaleofIdealismVsCynicism not]].

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* ToBeLawfulOrGood: How the detective initially sees the choices he makes. In the remake, that desire persists to the end. In the original, [[SlidingScaleofIdealismVsCynicism it does not]].



** Eckhardt certainly thinks that Dormer shot him on purpose, as evidenced by his LastWords. The killer, hidden in the mist, observes all of this, and uses it to try and get leverage on Dormer throughout the movie.

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** Eckhardt certainly thinks that Dormer shot him on purpose, as evidenced by his LastWords. The killer, hidden in the mist, observes all of this, this and uses it to try and get leverage on Dormer throughout the movie.


* IDidntMeanToKillHim: The killer tells the detective who's investigating him (and whom he's blackmailing to help him pin the murder on someone else) that he "didn't mean" to beat his teenage victim to death. When he repeats the same nonsense later on, the detective points out that he knows it took him ''fifteen minutes''.

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* IDidntMeanToKillHim: The killer tells the detective who's investigating him (and whom he's blackmailing to help him pin the murder on someone else) that he "didn't mean" to beat his teenage victim to death. When he repeats the same nonsense later on, the detective points out that he knows it took him ''fifteen ''ten minutes''.


** [[spoiler:Subverted with the young girl's death. The killer claims that this is how she died. While in the original, it's left rather vague, with the killer probably killing her in a fit of rage, whereas in the remake, he's obviously just making excuses; When she died, rather than panicking, he meticulously and calmly prepared her body to remove any evidence. Dormer also reveals near the end that the research shows that he would have to have taken around 15 minutes to beat her to death, making it anything but accidental.]]

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** [[spoiler:Subverted with the young girl's death. The killer claims that this is how she died. While in the original, it's left rather vague, with the killer probably killing her in a fit of rage, whereas in the remake, he's obviously just making excuses; When she died, rather than panicking, he meticulously and calmly prepared her body to remove any evidence. excuses. Dormer also reveals near the end that the research shows that he would have to have taken around 15 10 minutes to beat her to death, making it anything but accidental.]]


* FramingTheGuiltyParty: [[spoiler: The detective's sin (he forged evidence in order to get a killer ocnvicted), which he is concerned internal investigations will discover. Also, killer's rationale for framing the dead girl's abusive boyfriend.]]

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* FramingTheGuiltyParty: [[spoiler: The detective's sin (he forged evidence in order to get a killer ocnvicted), convicted), which he is concerned internal investigations will discover. Also, killer's rationale for framing the dead girl's abusive boyfriend.]]


* DisneyDeath [[spoiler:Holt in the original. He plunges to his death when a few wooden beams give away from under him. It's not as pretty as the usual DisneyDeath though, as he is seen paralysed as he goes under in the bight.]]

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* DisneyDeath DisneyVillainDeath [[spoiler:Holt in the original. He plunges to his death when a few wooden beams give away from under him. It's not as pretty as the usual DisneyDeath DisneyVillainDeath though, as he is seen paralysed as he goes under in the bight.]]


* IronicName: Dormer's name is a cognate for the word "to sleep" in several Romance languages. Even moreso, his first name is "Will." His name is literally "the will to sleep" when in fact he is TheInsomniac.



* MeaningfulName: Played ironically. Dormer's name is a cognate for the word "to sleep" in several Romance languages.
** Even moreso, his first name is "Will." His name is literally "the will to sleep."


* WorthyOpponent: In the remake, Finch views his relationship with Will like this. Will, however. thinks he's no more intelligent or special than the innumerable killers he's dealt with before.

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* WorthyOpponent: In the remake, Finch views his relationship with Will like this. Will, however. however, thinks he's no more intelligent or special than the innumerable killers he's dealt with before.


* NeverTrustATrailer: The trailer of the remake made it look like a serial killer movie in the vein of ''TheSilenceOfTheLambs'' and even went so far as to add a line ([[MissingTrailerScene naturally not found anywhere in the movie itself]]) that claimed the killer kept his victims for 3 days before killing them.

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* NeverTrustATrailer: The trailer of the remake made it look like a serial killer movie in the vein of ''TheSilenceOfTheLambs'' ''Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs'' and even went so far as to add a line ([[MissingTrailerScene naturally not found anywhere in the movie itself]]) that claimed the killer kept his victims for 3 days before killing them.


* BlackAndGrayMorality: The remake. The killer is a cheerful and smiling, but ice-cold psychopath, while Dormer is a angst-ridden DirtyCop who genuinely tries to do good in an indifferent world, but is forced to dig himself deeper into an inexcusable pit. The two men's relationship could, at best, be likened to a fish caught helplessly in the fisherman's hook.

to:

* BlackAndGrayMorality: BlackAndGreyMorality: The remake. The killer is a cheerful and smiling, but ice-cold psychopath, while Dormer is a angst-ridden DirtyCop who genuinely tries to do good in an indifferent world, but is forced to dig himself deeper into an inexcusable pit. The two men's relationship could, at best, be likened to a fish caught helplessly in the fisherman's hook.


However, due the stress of the investigation, combined with an extreme case of insomnia brought on by the White Nights, he ends up committing a fatal error when he tries to hunt down the killer - a botch-up that he, overwhelmed by his sleepless frenzy, attempts to cover up.

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However, due to the stress of the investigation, combined with an extreme case of insomnia brought on by the White Nights, he ends up committing a fatal error when he tries to hunt down the killer - a botch-up that he, overwhelmed by his sleepless frenzy, attempts to cover up.



[[SimilarlyNamedWorks No relation to]] the Creator/StephenKing novel ''Literature/{{Insomnia}},'' or the gaming/philosophy website, or the Legend of Zelda fanfic ''Fanfic/{{Insomnia}}''.

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[[SimilarlyNamedWorks No relation to]] the Creator/StephenKing novel ''Literature/{{Insomnia}},'' ''Literature/{{Insomnia}}'', or the gaming/philosophy website, or the Legend of Zelda fanfic ''Fanfic/{{Insomnia}}''.


* BlackAndGreyMorality: The remake. The killer is a cheerful and smiling, but ice-cold psychopath, while Dormer is a angst-ridden DirtyCop who genuinely tries to do good in an indifferent world, but is forced to dig himself deeper into an inexcusable pit. The two men's relationship could, at best, be likened to a fish caught helplessly in the fisherman's hook.

to:

* BlackAndGreyMorality: BlackAndGrayMorality: The remake. The killer is a cheerful and smiling, but ice-cold psychopath, while Dormer is a angst-ridden DirtyCop who genuinely tries to do good in an indifferent world, but is forced to dig himself deeper into an inexcusable pit. The two men's relationship could, at best, be likened to a fish caught helplessly in the fisherman's hook.



* GreyAndGreyMorality: The original, albeit bordering on BlackAndBlackMorality. The killer is something of a labile, choleric pervert, but Engström harbours a terrifyingly ruthless and unhinged personality of his own - even if his judgement is undeniably clouded by his insomnia. In this version, the corruption is much less one-sided, with both men trading threats, blackmail, and flights of panic.

to:

* GreyAndGreyMorality: GreyAndGrayMorality: The original, albeit bordering on BlackAndBlackMorality.EvilVersusEvil. The killer is something of a labile, choleric pervert, but Engström harbours a terrifyingly ruthless and unhinged personality of his own - even if his judgement is undeniably clouded by his insomnia. In this version, the corruption is much less one-sided, with both men trading threats, blackmail, and flights of panic.


* NaiveNewcomer: Ellie Burr in the remake is a rookie cop and wide-eyed idealist, who thinks of Dormer as an infallible
role-model. As the film progresses, she begins to learn that things are not always as clear-cut as she first thought.


and role-model. As the film progresses, she begins to learn that things are not always as clear-cut as she first thought.

to:

and role-model. As the film progresses, she begins to learn that things are not always as clear-cut as she first thought.


* NaiveNewcomer: Ellie Burr in the remake is a rookie cop and wide-eyed idealist, who thinks of Dormer as an infallible hero and role-model. As the film progresses, she begins to learn that things are not always as clear-cut as she first thought.

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** Even moreso, his first name is "Will." His name is literally "the will to sleep."
* NaiveNewcomer: Ellie Burr in the remake is a rookie cop and wide-eyed idealist, who thinks of Dormer as an infallible hero infallible
and role-model. As the film progresses, she begins to learn that things are not always as clear-cut as she first thought.

Added DiffLines:

* {{Delinquents}}: The victim's boyfriend. When Dormer interrogate's him, he at first tries to affect what Dormer calls a "fuck the world" attitude. After Dormer points out that the boyfriend is making himself out to be the prime suspect through his own stupidity, the kid is more forthcoming.

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