'Metalhead' ('Malmhaus'): Helsinki Review

Some kinds of despair can only be confronted with the help of Iron Maiden

A superficial glance at Ragnar Bragason's Metalhead, in which a troubled girl gives herself over to the gods of rock, might suggest the kind of winking teenage-outcast story one has seen plenty of times before. (Promo film stills of her in death's-head makeup at her square family's dinner table further the impression.) But Metalhead is uninterested in caricature or easy laughs, and its embodiment of guitar-hero obsession is one much more closely resembling someone you knew in high school, albeit someone who's had an exceptionally hard time dealing with childhood trauma. Sincere and well acted, the picture merits more attention than it has received on the fest circuit, and may yet find its audience in a video afterlife.


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