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BFI London Film Festival 2018: The Guilty Review

The Guilty

By on 23/10/2018

The Guilty (Den Skyldige)

The Guilty proves that you don’t need a big budget to make an affective thriller. Its powered by amazing acting, sound design and our own imaginations



Set completely in a police dispatch room The Guilty (Den Skyldige) is Denmark’s entry for the Oscars. The Guilty is a one character thriller along the lines of films like Phone Booth and Locke. Its set completely in a police dispatch office and follows a evening with Asper Holm (played brilliantly by Jakob Cedergren) a detective who has been put on administrative duty in the dispatch office as he is under investigation


That evening he receives a call from a woman who has been kidnapped and is in the back if the kidnapper’s car where she fakes the call to the Asper pretending she is talking to kids rather than the police. What follows is a riveting on the edge race against time of Asper to rescue Iben.


Where The Guilty’s power comes is that the camera never leaves Asper’s face. The viewer becomes an active observer into his investigation and you receive the information as he does through the phone calls he receives and sends from the dispatch office.  Through the absolute genius of the script, acting and most importantly the sound design were are drawn into a world where the action is weaved through our own imagination through his calls – whether it’s the heavy breathing on the other end of the call, the creaking of a door, the screeching of car tires. The Guilty is absolutely riveting and engrossing and like watching a audio book or real life crime podcast on screen in a way


As soon as the action starts it does not let up until its end. As well as being a police procedural thriller its also a character study into Asper without giving away too much


The Guilty highly recommended


The Screening

At the screening Jakob Cedergren and director Gustav Moller were in attendance where they explained the months of pre and post production that went to weaving this story and the sound design to give a product that is so immersive and clever. The Guilty shows through great writing, inventive sound design and on a shoestring budget you can weave a world that completely draws you in for its real time 90 minutes. Don’t read to much about the film – just go out there and see it