WHAT REMAINS is a crime drama based on Sweden’s most notorious serial killer. Created by the Skarsgård family, we get a fascinating story. It’s just too long and slow. Read our What Remains movie review here!

WHAT REMAINS is a new serial killer movie. Well, sort of, it’s a crime drama about one of the most notorious serial killers in Sweden. Or inspired by, I should say, as names have been changed. However, it’s not difficult to find out who it’s based on.

It’s a real Skargård Family production with two Skarsgård cast members and a co-screenwriter with the internationally famous Swedish last name. I wanted to like this movie a lot more than I ultimately did. It’s just over two hours and that is way too much.

Continue reading our What Remains movie review below. Find it in theaters and On Deman from June 21, 2024.

Creative and insane or an actual serial killer?

In What Remains, we meet Sigge Storm (Gustaf Skarsgård ). He’s a patient at a Scandinavian psychiatric hospital in the 1990s. He decides to change his name to Mads Lake and then starts confessing multiple murders.

But is he an actual killer or is he simply a madman who has convinced himself that he is?

Therapist Anna Rudebeck (Andrea Riseborough) and police officer Soren Rank (Stellan Skarsgård) want to uncover the truth. Unfortunately, the trio also seems to be getting an actual co-dependency.

They are consumed with finding the truth but is that even possible?!

What Remains (2022) – Review | Skarsgård Serial Killer Movie

The real serial killer portrayed in What Remains

It doesn’t take more than a simple Google search for “Sweden serial killer” to find the Wikipedia page for the man who inspired this movie. His name is Sture Bergwall and he took the name Thomas Quick later on.

So, instead of Sigge Storm and Mads Lake, the real-life person has gone by Sture Bergwall and Thomas Quick. When reading up on Sture Bergwall, it’s easy to see that his story is what’s covered in What Remains.

With respect and fairly high levels of accuracy, despite not officially being his story.

Why oh why is this in English?

Readers of Heaven of Horror will know that I loathe when movies are made in English when they shouldn’t be. My two primary examples are Domino and The Snowman, and What Remains fall into all the same issues.

I cannot empathize enough how idiotic I find this decision; Placing a movie in Sweden with predominantly Swedish actors, yet making them speak English. And, English with a Swedish accent, which means even Andrea Riseborough has to adopt a Swedish accent.

Once you’ve changed the names of characters, why not change the location? Or at the very least, explain why English is spoken. Carrie Ann Moss guest starred in a season of the Norwegian series Wisting and they only spoke English in scenes with her. It was perfect!

Instead, in What Remains, we hear them speaking English, but a crossword puzzle is in Swedish, and newspapers (titles and content) are in Swedish.

Well, except when some newspaper cover stories suddenly have headlines in English because we need to know what it says. It’s just plain stupid and, for me, it ruins all illusion.

A real shame with a cast as good as this one. Especially Gustaf Skarsgård and Andrea Riseburough shine in this movie!

Watch What Remains in theaters or On Demand

The director of What Remains is the Chinese filmmaker Ran Huang, who also co-wrote the screenplay. The other co-writer is debutant Megan Everett-Skarsgard, who is married to Stellan.

I don’t say this to take anything away from her, but merely to explain why she has the Skarsgård name. And I did love the story that was told in this movie. What I didn’t care for was the pace and the runtime. It felt desperately slow at times and seemed to go on forever.

The acting is truly stellar in this movie, so the pace is the main problem, along with the language issue. Still, I can do slow burn and even prefer it sometimes. This movie, however, was just way too long and slow.

Plus, the ending does the movie a huge disservice by then being very abrupt.

What Remains is out in Theaters & On Demand from June 21, 2024.


Director: Ran Huang
Writers: Ran Huang & Megan Everett-Skarsgard
Cast: Gustaf Skarsgård, Andrea Riseborough, Stellan Skarsgård


At a psychiatric hospital, an alleged serial killer, his therapist, and a police detective try to solve a cold case before their obsessive quest consumes them all.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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