Bright Lights Film Journal

The White Reindeer (Valkoinen Peura, 1952)

Christa Lang Fuller, widow of Sam, in response to my post re 31 Essential Horror Films writes:
“Please add Valkoinen peura (1952) to the top of your list as one of the finest and scariest horror films ever made … it’s a masterpiece waiting to be rediscovered.”
I’d never heard of Valkoinen peura, and I don’t think it was mentioned by anyone who submitted nominations to Ed Hardy’s 31 Flicks That You the Willies list. Yet a little internet research revealed the two extremely intriguing stills posted above. I also learned this Finnish film had some kind of limited American release in 1957 under the title The White Reindeer, and that it was one of six films to receive a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film in that year. A rave review posted at the Internet Movie Data Base calls both the film and its lead actress “stunning,” and describes the movie’s snow-covered Lapland landscapes as “a perfect setting for a film about love, loneliness, fears of abandonment, and, of course, vampires.”
All of which makes me really want to see this film and to hope for its prompt revival on DVD. Are you listening Kino?