Click to view the trailer. Photograph: TR Productions/Bright Frame Pictures

If you’re looking for an ultra-violent, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny movie made by independent Finnish filmmakers (TR Productions, distribution Bright Frame Pictures), look no further: (Pri)sons premieres in cinemas on Friday!

The film is a violent humdinger.


Jussi Huhtala, whose score injects an extra dose of adrenaline even in the quieter scenes and, of course, in the scenes where things explode and blood runs in streams over the bodies of the actors and actresses, is a man who, like yours truly, grew up with the cinema of the 1980s and 1990s. And you can hear and feel it!

“I grew up with the Van Dammes of the ’90s,” he said.

Veera W. Ilo is equally adept at playing both drama and action. When she’s not playing a role, her cheerfulness is catchy. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY

At times, Huhtala’s melodies are reminiscent of the soundtrack to Steven Seagal’s Hard To Kill (1993), and while admitting to the journalist that “it may have been a subconscious coincidence,” Huhtala’s grip over the action is that of a man of who has been deeply involved in the cinema since he was ten years old.

In Huhtala’s words, (Pri)sons is an ode to those violent but entertaining flicks that brought so much joy to the world of young boys and even girls in the 80s and 90s, while, or after, their parents watched B&B at six o’clock sharp.

No Ron Moss! Bloodsport and Dim Mak! Baby.

Ok. Ok.

Jere Saarela from Tampere plays one of the leads (Juha Kaivola). Here he poses next to Veera W. Ilo at the invitation-only screening in Helsinki on January 6, 2024. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY

In (Pri)sons, Veera W. Vilo as Koch gives us another brilliant performance as a cold-blooded psycho killer and according to her, her background in top-level gymnastics (two times world champion in aesthetic group gymnastics) did justice to the movie in a physical sense and of course the choreographers and even the director (Esa Jussila) were able to add a little something to the moves.

Esa Jussila is known for directing Findies, which are independent Finnish films that are usually shorter than full-length features. ‘(Pri)sons’ is his first attempt at a major theatrical release. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY

I agree. She’s one of the most adaptable Finnish actors today … capable of serious drama (watch Free Skate) and physical performance where when she’s in character you don’t want to take that hard right to the solar plexus.

The people behind the scenes told me that they wanted to shake up the Finnish film industry.

They have certainly done it again.

Britain’s Gareth Lawrence is one of the nicest guys off-screen, but he’s not a man you want to mess with in ‘(Pri)sons.’ Photograph: TR Productions/Bright Frame Pictures

‘(Pri)sons’ premieres in cinemas on January 9.