Scandinavian noir might have been the hottest import over the last decade, but before Stieg Larsson changed the face of modern crime dramas, Mo Hayder has writing dark psychological British crime fiction. The Treatment (De Behandeling) is an adaptation of her second book of the same name, and one of seven novels featuring the same lead character. Director Hans Herbots moves the action to Belgium, which works really well, producing a tense, bleak thriller.
Inspector Nick Chafmeyer (Geert Van Rampelberg) is still struggling to get over the childhood abduction of his brother by the leader of a paedophile ring. When a couple are found after being held captive for three days, Chief Inspector Danni Petit (Ina Geerts) is reluctant to involve him in the hunt for their attacker and young son. Nick is determined to find the perpetrator, and as more information comes to light, he begins to believe that something bigger is going on.
Hans Herbots sticks to the key elements of the book, making The Testament as equally bleak and brutal. It’s a mix of crime and psychological drama which keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s dark, both literally and figuratively, skilfully avoiding the usual genre cliches. There’s a wonderful edge of suspense right until the very end and it’s littered with red herrings and dead ends. The Treatment is a superior crime thriller; mysterious and chilling.
The Treatment is out in cinemas on August 21.