Netflix’s Red Dot reviews: the platform’s first Swedish film takes us beyond Nordic noir

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Here’s what you need to know about Red Dot, aka Netflix’s dark new Swedish thriller.

Updated on 12 February: From Equinox, to Quicksand, to Marcella, there’s always been something incredibly addictive about the world of Nordic noir. And you better believe that Netflix knows it.

In fact, the streaming platform has – in a bid to quench our seemingly insatiable thirst for the stuff – confirmed that a wealth of original Swedish films and TV shows will become available to subscribers over the next few months.

“There’s been a significant increase in the amount of work we’ve been doing with them over the last couple of years,” said Tim King, the head of film and TV production at Stockholm’s SF Studios, during a recent interview with The Guardian.

“It’s woken everyone up who’s dreamed of doing horror, sci-fi, anything. Suddenly there’s an outlet and somebody who’s willing to bet on it.”

One such project? High-concept thriller Red Dot, aka Netflix’s first-ever feature film from Sweden.

As in, yes, the unnerving title everyone’s talking about since it dropped yesterday on the streaming platform.

What are critics saying about Red Dot?

Red Dot is the rare film unafraid to be relentlessly grim and self-serious, but it feels earned,” promises Decider.

“This is sicker than your average thriller,” says Ready Steady Cut.

Mashable, meanwhile, raves: “Red Dot is amazing! Two parts of the movie are slasher horror in nature and one part is an emotional drama that will make one cry.”

Red Dot is Netflix's first-ever feature film from Sweden.
Red Dot is Netflix's first-ever feature film from Sweden.

Heaven Of Horror says: “Moral of this movie? Don’t judge a book by its cover and never try to run from your mistakes!”

And this writer? Well, she’s here to promise you that the 85-minute film’s many twists and turns will keep you off-guard throughout – and that the ending (so grim, so unbearable) is guaranteed to hit you like a total sucker punch to the gut.

Intrigued? Here’s what you need to know about the film.

What’s the plot of Red Dot?

A still from Netflix's Red Dot
The plot of Netflix’s Red Dot is truly nightmarish.

As reported on 26 January: The film starts off by treading somewhat familiar territory; David and Nadja, a couple in their late 20s, are struggling to navigate the peaks and troughs of their increasingly rocky relationship. When Nadja becomes pregnant, though, the duo realise they have to make a decision about their marriage: are they in, or are they out?

In a bid to rekindle the romance, the couple decide to travel to the magnificent expanses in the north of Sweden for a ski hike. And here’s where the plot zigs where you might expect it to zag. Because, after a quarrel with two local hunters, their make-or-break trip slowly turns into a nightmare. 

The clue’s in the title, of course; a red laser dot – the kind of red dot which is, terrifyingly, associated with hunting rifles – appears in their tent. Someone has taken aim at them. Cue the pair scrambling out of their sleeping bags and fleeing into the cold, unforgiving, snowy wasteland outside.

Totally isolated in the mountains, David and Nadja are now being pursued by reckless shooters. And, during this sadistic hunt, it’s not long before the couple’s past comes back to haunt them, too.

Is there a trailer for Red Dot?

You can watch Netflix’s trailer for Red Dot below.

Fair warning, though: it may leave you feeling incredibly anxious as to the whereabouts of the couple’s dog (if you’re anything like this writer it will, anyway).

Who stars in the cast of Red Dot?

Johannes Kuhnke, Nanna Blondell, and Anastasios Soulis lead the cast of this taut and chilly thriller film.

Kalled Mustonen, Thomas Hanzon, Anna Azcárate, Per Mårthans, and Veronica Mukka also star.

What are people saying about Red Dot?

Alain Darborg, the director of Red Dot, revealed the inspiration for the script, which he co-penned with Per Dickson, at the 30th Stockholm Film Festival.

As per Cine Europa, he said: “I first discovered that I was going to be a father while out hiking in the Swedish mountains. It all felt overwhelming and amazing.”

Nanna Blondell leads the cast of Red Dot.
Nanna Blondell leads the cast of Red Dot.

Darborg continued: “I was simultaneously struck by the loneliness of that place and what it might feel like if there were a maniac out in the wilderness, shooting at us. It was the combination of these emotions that was the original idea behind Red Dot – an action-thriller about the fear of becoming a parent (and being shot in the face).

“My ambition is to make a hair-raising film with high-octane, spectacular scenes, but with a very emotional core.”

When is Red Dot available to stream on Netflix?

Red Dot will make its premiere on Netflix UK on 11 February. 

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Images: Netflix

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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