Interview: Thea Hvistendahl Discusses Her New Take On Zombies In Handling the Undead

Based on a book from the Let The Right One In writer, Thea gets into all of the challenges she had making her “not a zombie” zombie film.

Zombies have pretty much been the same since George A Romero took them away from the world of voodoo and made them the flesheaters we know today. Sure, their speed may change depending on the filmmaker, but otherwise, their rules are universal. So it’s always a pleasure when someone comes along that has a different take on an old subject. Because the dead returning to life is more than just teeth and gore, as the emotional impact is a toll that few could likely take. Handling the Undead follows three families as they’re given the ultimate gift: the return of their loved one.

I was able to talk with Norwegian filmmaker Thea Hvistendahl about her new film and all the challenges that came with it. Based on a book by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who already flipped vampires on their heads with Let The Right One In, this has a similar tone and grounding of a supernatural topic. Thea’s clearly trying to focus more on the human element versus the more bombastic nature of what a zombie film usually is. The film is deliberately slow and contemplative, asking the viewer: what would you do in this situation? You can check out my review for the film HERE and make sure to check out my interview with Thea above.

Handling the Undead plot:

On a hot summer day in Oslo, the dead mysteriously awaken, and three families are thrown into chaos when their deceased loved ones come back to them. Who are they, and what do they want? A family is faced with the mother’s reawakening before they have even mourned her death after a car accident; an elderly woman gets the love of her life back the same day she has buried her; a grandfather rescues his grandchild from the gravesite in a desperate attempt to get his daughter out of her depression.


Handling the Undead

About the Author

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Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.