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Film / Nightwatch 1994

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Nightwatch (Danish: Nattevagten) is a 1994 Danish film directed by Ole Bornedal. It stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in his debut film role as Martin Bork, a law student who accepts a student job working as a night watchman in a mortuary. His duties include going to where the deceased are kept. At the same time, a series of murders among women in Copenhagen occur while a number of strange occurrences happen at the mortuary. Has a Foreign Remake released in 1997 starring Ewan McGregor as Martin, Josh Brolin as James, and Nick Nolte as a detective, also directed by Bornedal.

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Tropes that appear in this film:

  • Batter Up!: The main weapon for the night watchman is a bat.
  • Detective Mole: The detective is the Serial Killer.
  • Fingore: Jens cuts off at least one of his fingers to free himself.
  • Flaying Alive: The killer likes to scalp his victims. It’s changed in the 1997 remake to Eye Scream.
  • Frame-Up: The killer is pinning his crimes on Martin due to his status as the night watchman.
  • Freudian Excuse: Defied in the 1997 film, as Inspector Cray inspects one of the bodies in the morgue.
    Cray: Most people, when they see something like this, their immediate reaction is to ask how could somebody do this and why. Even when we catch the killer, they want to know the how and why. In movies or television, the killer always explains the how or why. He always has some reason, however crazy, with a mad gleam in his eye. But I've interrogated murderers like this one before, and let me tell you, they are well beyond the need to justify what they do. They just do it. Explanations are just a fiction to make us feel safe. Because if it can't be explained, then it's just meaningless chaos. It could touch any one of us at any moment. Which is exactly what it is.
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  • I Love the Dead: The killer also rapes his dead victims. It’s been going on ever since he worked at the morgue.
  • Serial Killer: There's one on the loose in Copenhagen (changed to another city in the 1997 Foreign Remake) that scalps his victims and later rapes their corpses at the morgue.
  • Wham Shot: The file with the detective's name on it.
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