‘The Kingdom Exodus’: Lars Von Trier opens the gates of the Kingdom 25 years later


    filmin premieres today exclusively the third season of ‘The Kingdom’, the series created by Lars Von Trier in the 90s as the European response to the phenomenon ‘Twin Peaks‘by David Lynch. The new chapters arrive when they have passed 25 years since the broadcast of the second season, and they will reopen the doors of the Kingdom, the hospital where the action is centered, a quarter of a century later.

    ‘The Kingdom’ is an unclassifiable series. Full of black humor, animal cynicism, elements of terror and a sepia tone that suffocates the protagonists through the labyrinthine corridors of the El Reino hospital, the two seasons that Lars Von Trier gave us in the 90s presented one of the the best horror series where you never know what’s going to happen next: A spirit medium patient, a ghost ambulance, a ghoulish cult of surgeons, two chefs with Down’s Syndrome discussing what happened on the fly, a monstrous pregnancy with Udo Kier from protagonist… And, to end each episode, the director himself appeared in a suit to ask you how the experience was and explain a little about the constant “fight between good and evil” that served as a backbone (or macguffin).

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    ‘The Kingdom Exodus’ takes up the series aware of the passage of time, but maintains its constants and its tonality. The first episode shows us Karen, the new protagonist who will take on the role of the medium Drusse from the first seasons, finishing watching the second season of ‘The Kingdom’ on DVD and criticizing it. “How can they sell this half shit? Wow what a ending.” His strange sleepwalking means that that same night he ends up at the very gates of the Kingdom, where his workers they continue to criticize Von Trier calling him an idiot and complaining that part of the real events that took place were made up… But not all of them. It seems that the doors of the Kingdom have reopened, the spirits are up to their old tricks again (the good ones in charge of the guardian, Little Brother udo kierwho is now the Big Brother, and the evil ones under the satanic command of the Grand Duke, Willem Dafoe) and Karen will have to guide them back to the afterlife.

    But this is just one of the plots of the series, the supernatural one that serves as an excuse for the others to lose control and for Von Trier to justify anything that happens in the hospital. The truth is that, for much of the footage, ‘The Kingdom Exodus’ is a surreal and absurd comedy centered on the medical staff of the center, bringing back several characters from the original series and introducing new ones just as (or worse) outlandish with Helmer Jr., the son of Stig Helmer, at the helm. The Danish director unfolds a string of local jokes about Danes and Swedes (of course, the mythical phrase “Danish scum!” speaks again in all episodes), about sexual harassment, inclusive language and radicalism that make ‘The Kingdom’ a comedy in the style of ‘office‘ or ‘Scrubs’ more than in a horror series most of the time, with special mention to the great appearances of alexander skarsgaard as the only Swedish lawyer in the region.

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    As the renewed kitchen employees warn, Christmas is approaching and with it the final battle between good and evil… And Von Trier does not disappoint in the final episode. Everything that before seemed like filler, internal whims of the director, becomes relevant in an outcome that, in the truest style of the filmmaker, breaks with the unwritten rules of the audiovisual structure almost as a joke. Because, in case you are still new in the universe of Lars Von Trier, in the end all his work consists of that: playing with us and having fun at our expense as if he were a naughty child. Hence his appearances in the credits of each episode, leaning out to check our reactions, and hence the grand finale of, without a doubt, one of the best series in history.

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‘The Kingdom Exodus’: Lars Von Trier opens the gates of the Kingdom 25 years later