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16 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Very little I can say about this without appearing to be a one-man Lars von Trier marketing team.
I saw this purely by accident quite a while ago, and was completely bowled over by the experience. It has just about everything that you could want - hauntings, unexpected pregnancy, several unscrupulous doctors (one of them being prepared to go to extreme lengths to get...
Published on 6 Feb 2002 by Mr. W. Hardy

versus
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars entertaining
The strength of most horror movies is in conveying an extraterrestrial presence as abnormal. We are all well acquainted with the normal and hence are not afraid of it. The paranormal on the other hand infuses fear in us largely because of unfamiliarity.

Lars Von Trier introduces the spirits with suspense and then turns them into objects of humour as the...
Published on 24 May 2007 by jeevinesh


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 6 Feb 2002
By 
Mr. W. Hardy "GH" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Very little I can say about this without appearing to be a one-man Lars von Trier marketing team.
I saw this purely by accident quite a while ago, and was completely bowled over by the experience. It has just about everything that you could want - hauntings, unexpected pregnancy, several unscrupulous doctors (one of them being prepared to go to extreme lengths to get his hands on a dying patient's liver), racial intolerance, and above all else, the feeling that there is something else going on that you just can't quite put your finger on. To top it all off, the only person who seems to understand what is really happening, is the guy who washes the dishes in the canteen.
I think that it's fair to say that this is not for everyone. However, if you enjoy the style of David Lynch, or indeed the other creations of Lars von Trier, then you'll get more out of this than most.
Only two complaints - why is this not on DVD; why is the second series impossible to find in any format.
Watch this and you'll be thinking about it for weeks afterwards.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but where's the sequel?, 18 Oct 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Kingdom [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Humour, horror, satire; a masterpiece. I absolutely love the way von Trier contrasts the relationship between the swede Dr. Helmer and his Danish colleagues. I think you poor English-speakers miss out on a lot of the subtle humour ;-) I rate it five stars, despite a few minor drawbacks:
- The English subtitle is not optional. As a scandinavian, I understand Danish and Swedish quite well, and would prefer not being disturbed by the subtitles.
- In the original TV series, von Trier appeared during the final credits of each episode. In this edition, episodes 1-2 and 3-4-5 are presented together, so three of von Triers speeches are missing.
- The sequel is not available on DVD yet. Once you've watched this one, you'll desperately want to watch The Kingdom II (1997).
- And lastly, as two of the main actors passed away after The Kingdom II, nobody knows if the story will ever be concluded, in The Kingdom III.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Altogether superb, 8 Aug 2002
By 
AMC Casday - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Kingdom [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
I must agree with the first reviewer: this is probably not a film for everybody. It is intensely moody, sometimes it is overwhelmingly frightening, and it is also about five hours long! But in fact one of the most impressive features of 'The Kingdom' is how sophisticated the characters and situations become, and they can only develop so magnificently because of the great scale of the thing. It would be tempting to catalogue the characters and describe the situations, but it would be an injustice to attempt that. One could say in fairness, however, that one central theme of 'The Kingdom' is the erosion of the boundaries of rationality and the disctinction of the normal from the paranormal. This is played out chiefly in the plot surrounding the mournful ghost of a little girl who haunts the lifts and corridors of Rigshospital, Copenhagen, but it is clear in other cases as well.
It is only natural that a protracted exploration of that theme should be uncomfortable at times. And the film certainly has scenes that are acutely uncomfortable -- languid, grainy shots into the backlit shaft of a lift; the young patient of a botched neurosurgery covering herself and her hospital room in red paint; and the pathologist who has a diseased liver transplanted into himself so that he can conclude his oncological research by cultivating a rare tumour. This is to say nothing about the climactic birth at the end of episode 5, which must be seen to be believed. Even the humour of the film is chiefly absurd and often borders on malevolence. In a word, 'The Kingdom' is not for the squeamish.
Having said all that, 'The Kingdom' is enormously gratifying for the brilliant way it tells what can be taken, in essence, as a straightforward ghost-story. The acting is on the whole magnificent, and never bad. The pace is measured and so the intensity is controlled. The special effects are really quite minimal, as is the camera work, and this has the effect of emphasising the story rather than the telling. That accomplishment alone is truly impressive.
In the end, anyone who enjoys a suspenseful, supernatural tale will find 'The Kingdom' well worth its cost. The producers of this DVD have done a fine job, particularly by including a documentary on Lars von Trier, and I for one hope they will bring out the next installment soon.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 26 April 2002
By 
Mr. W. Hardy "GH" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Kingdom [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Very little I can say about this without appearing to be a one-man Lars von Trier marketing team.
I saw this purely by accident quite a while ago, and was completely bowled over by the experience. It has just about everything that you could want - hauntings, unexpected pregnancy, several unscrupulous doctors (one of them being prepared to go to extreme lengths to get his hands on a dying patient's liver), racial intolerance, and above all else, the feeling that there is something else going on that you just can't quite put your finger on. To top it all off, the only person who seems to understand what is really happening, is the guy who washes the dishes in the canteen.
I think that it's fair to say that this is not for everyone. However, if you enjoy the style of David Lynch, or indeed the other creations of Lars von Trier, then you'll get more out of this than most.
Watch this and you'll be thinking about it for weeks afterwards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A soap as viewed in the eyes of a Dane named von Trier, 4 Jan 2002
By 
This film, originally made as a TV-series (broadcasted in both Norway and Denmark) is unlike anything you've seen. The only comparison would be Twin Peaks by David Lynch, with more of everything, especially black humour! Another 5-part episode has been made and has been avalaible. One of the main characters is unfortunately dead and a third sequel might therefore be difficult, even though von Trier has expressed wishes to continue this saga about the life in the main hospital of Copenhagen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pure art.., 5 Jan 2004
By A Customer
This is an amazing movie that any cine-maniac must see..It combines black humor with amazing captivating story..The camera viewings of Lars von Trier are just wonderful. Cameras are always moving, and changing directions, never focus so as to give an amazing documentary style to the movie. The colours are as dull as possible with emphasis given to certain points. If you like David Lynch, or Kronenberg "surgical" style plus a Danish cult finishing, then see the movie.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Twin Peaks and X Files together, 2 Jan 2004
By 
This review is from: The Kingdom [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Do believe the hype...this is von Trier at his best. You will be completely and utterly hooked after watching this, so the main reason I wanted to write this review is to inform all those desperate people out there that the sequel is available on DVD...just have a look on USA or Hong Kong auction websites and you will almost certainly find it. Happy hunting, and hopefully one day the director will complete this trilogy. I for one can't wait.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Be Seen By All, 11 Sep 2001
By A Customer
A great mix of drama, comedy, and horror, The Kingdom is a supernatural-tinged look into the lives of various staff at a large, strange Danish hospital. It's got something for everyone; ghosts, sex, drugs, flesh-eating, and more. I could go on and on, but I'm just a goofy American and I'd rather you just see it yourself and enjoy.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DONT mix this up with Stephen Kings 'Kingdom Hospital', 9 May 2004
This review is from: The Kingdom [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
I remember seeing this on BBC2 a couple of years ago & the 1st thing that got me hooked was the grainy, dark quality of the way it was filmed. It kind of reminded me of the popular Silent Hill videogames that have been produced lately, & I LOVE Silent Hill!!.
Anyway, I started watching & loved it. The cross over between a real life Hospital & the Paranormal was an excellent idea & makes sense. I mean, not everybody comes out of Hospital alive do they?, & Kingdom Hosptial is a pretty manky, low funded looking Hospital so the chances of there being more corpses there than alive patients looks pretty high!.
Although it is subtitled you forget that your reading it after a few minutes so dont let the subtitles put you off. And if youre too lazy to be 'bothered' with subtitled Films then shame on you!, cos your missing out on some of the best films ever produced!!.
Anyway, I'm buying this for my missus as she's a big Lars Von Trier fan , along with the budget DVD players available from Amazon, so she will be more than happy!!!.
PLEASE NOTE: DONT mix this up with Stephen Kings 'Kingdom Hospital', which is BASED on Lars Von Triers The Kingdom but has been tarted up & changed for the USA audience & doesnt look half as gruesome or dirty as The Kingdom.
I'm sure that 'Mr. lazy' Stephen King will make millions off the back of someone elses idea, as most wont have heard of Lars Von Trier or The Kingdom. I just hope that Mr. Von Trier hasnt signed his excellent drama over to Stephen King for a few mere peanuts, & I hope the rest of this excellent drama is released soon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Surreal Comedy Drama, 21 Mar 2011
By 
Nobody Famous (The West Country, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Kingdom [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Lars von Trier isn't everyone's cup of tea but this is probably more accessible than a lot of his work. I found it takes a little while to get into but it's worth bearing with it and I found I got sucked in and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

In very brief terms, it's a Danish (subtitled) TV mini-series about a hospital plagued by unnatural events. As you'll probably know it was remade into "Kingdom" by Stephen King for US television.

The filming is dark and grainy and the action is generally understated although with some gory moments, giving the whole show a very spooky feel without resorting to lots of hi-tech special effects.

No doubt it loses something in translation but the script is good and the acting is superb from just about everyone. Some highlights are Ernst-Hugo Jaregard who steals most of his scenes and adds a lot of the comedy as the pompous and dislikeable Dr Stig Helmer. Kirsten Rolffes also plays her role as the slightly batty psychic Mrs Drusse perfectly but understadedly.

The series asks more questions than it answers so don't expect it all to be nicely tied up at the end. It has a kind of David Lynch feel to it in the way that things are half explained but with plenty left to the imagination.

There is also a 2nd series on DVD "Riget II", and a 3rd series was planned but it was never made after the deaths of Jaregard and Rolffes and I suspect because von Trier went onto bigger things in the movie world.
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The Kingdom (Riget) [1996] [DVD]
The Kingdom (Riget) [1996] [DVD] by Lars von Trier (DVD - 2006)
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