An early glimpse of the Modus killer.

1. It’s everything you’d expect from a Scandinavian crime drama.

The complex characters, the shadowy, melancholy cinematography. The deliberately slow-yet-stimulating storyline that weaves itself into your mind and keeps you intrigued. 

2. But it’s not just another “whodunnit” story.

In fact, rather than the slow revelation of clues throughout the series, the killer is revealed in one of the opening shots. As the series progresses you get into his head and start understanding his past and his motives. We guess you could call it more of a “whydunnit.” 

3. It’s chillingly beautiful.

Pun intended. It’s Christmas time in a sub-zero Swedish town, set against a backdrop of sinister elegance. A world that’s practically in darkness for half of the year, offering stunning visuals of crisp wintry landscapes and forests deep in snowdrift. “There’s something about the darkness of Scandinavia that lends itself to exploring crime and the darker side of people,” says screenwriter, Mai Brostrøm,

4. It’s subtitled, but you’ll hardly notice.

Despite the language barrier, it feels relatable and remarkably close to home. The dialogue is easy to follow, without falling into cliché territory.  There is snippets of English scattered in there too, which is a pleasant interlude. 

5. It has a family element, despite the sinister premise.

It’s a thriller, so there’s always a feeling that something ominous is looming. However, flawlessly intertwined is the exploration of family relationships, raising children, and living with special needs.

Inger Johanne and daughter, Stina.

6. The female lead is strong, smart and instantly appealing.

Melinda Kinnaman plays psychological profiler Inger Johanne, a role she was drawn to because of the character’s complexities and flaws. “I could really relate to her, because in many ways she’s quite an ordinary woman,” Kinnaman told The Guardian. Ordinarily brilliant, we think. 

7. It’s more about the characters than the crime.

Stina, Inger’s Autistic teenage daughter is as captivating as she is bewildering. Inger’s younger daughter is blissfully innocent, a light in the darkness and a pleasure to watch. And you might just fall in love with the local detective and his quiet tenderness, before you even notice it’s happening. 

8. It’s brutal without being too gory.

Beware, there are some unsettling scenes, it comes with the territory of a murder mystery. But they’re introduced, developed and presented in a way that doesn’t cheapen or dilute the quality of the story. 

9. You can watch the whole season right now. 

So once you’re sucked in, you don’t have to wait for the answers you seek. 

Stream Season 1 of Modus right here, from midday Monday 22 January.