Unholy Night

Árni Þór Jónsson






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This film is not suitable for children under 18 or for sensitive people.


Original title Örstutt jól
DIRECTOR Árni Þór Jónsson
PRODUCER Skúli Fr. Malmquist, Þórir S. Sigurjónsson, Grímar Jónsson
DOP Bergsteinn Björgúlfsson
SCRIPT Ottó Geir Borg, Ómar Örn Hauksson
SOUND Ingvar Lundberg
EDITOR Árni Þór Jónsson
CO-PRODUCER Hlín Jóhannesdóttir
GENRE Thriller
CAST Ari Matthíasson, Ísgerður Elfa Gunnarsdóttir, Laufey Elíasdóttir, Rúnar Jakobsson, Stefán Hallur Stefánsson, Þorri Jensson


It is the night before Christmas and all through the decrepit school house nothing is stirring, not even a mouse. Well that is not exactly the truth, but what has happened in this weather beaten building in the barren Icelandic tundra is more akin to cruel fantasy than stark reality. A few days ago the participants of an experimental rehab clinic came there in order to cast out their inner demons, stay away from temptation and finally discover a little about their sober selves. That didn’t go quite according to plan, but they discovered Santa was real. Not the jolly fat man of the Coca Cola variety, but the scary outlawish Yule Man from Icelandic folk tales. Legend tells us that they were 13: Peeping Tom, Meathook and other family friendly names; and they were the children of a cannibalistic ogre called Greela, who was as old as the Sagas. Throughout the centuries they were used to frighten children – to ensure they would stay in over the harsh Christmas period. Being used to that every day is a constant struggle for survival and the next fix the participants manage to fend of the Yule Men’s first attack – suffering some casualties in the battle. “Unholy Night” takes place the night after the first attack.


Árni Þór Jónsson is an Icelander and is born and raised in Reykjavik where he still lives today. He began his film career as a set builder, assistant to property masters and stage manager. Between 1995-2000 he worked there as a runner, AC, AD, gaffer, grip and editor. He began directing domestically and internationally in the year 2000. He won The Icelandic Music Awards for Best Video in 2003 for Singapore Sling “Listen” and was nominated in 2005 for EDDA Awards (Icelandic TV and Film Awards) for music video for Bang Gang. He was then nominated for Best Music Video in 2006 at The Icelandic Music Awards for Ampop “My Delusions” and won the 3rd prize in the National Radio for Best Music Video in 1999 for Sud “Úr Augsýn”. Árni has directed over 300 domestic commercials and as well he has directed over 80 international commercials and campaigns. He has been nominated for various advertising awards. Árni directed a music video for Hjaltalín called “Sweet Impressions” in 2010 and which you watch here on ICO (see under Music).



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