Terribly Happy ★★★½

This Danish film falls somewhere between the Coen Brothers' "Blood Simple" and "Fargo" as a dark, brooding story with comedic undertones, the repellent kind that make you laugh and cringe simultaneously. Based on a novel that was in turn based on a true story, it is the joint work of two childhood friends that lived across the street from each other in a bleak rural town exactly like the one in which the film takes place. Novelist Erling Jepsin authors a tale about a uncle of his who beat and eventually murdered his wife, but was never arrested because the xenophobic townspeople covered up the crime for the sake of his young daughter (and the fear that it would attract outside attention). Director Henrik Genz takes this story and brings it to the screen through the eyes of Robert Hansen, a Copenhagen police officer who is temporarily assigned to village, following some sort of mental breakdown. He really doesn't belong there ... the creepy townspeople are like the characters in a Stephen King novel and he soon finds himself in over his head. The story unfolds in ways that are outlandish yet somehow believable.