The release date for Terribly Happy has been postponed until April 23.
Let's begin (and indeed end) with the best moment in this odd but very entertaining Danish thriller. A beautiful middle-aged woman is in a cop car with an officer who is behind the wheel. This is Ingerlise (Lene Maria Christensen) and Robert (Jakob Cedergren). Ingerlise is mentally unstable and has an abusive husband; Robert has just been banished to the small town after having a "mental breakdown" in Copenhagen. They are driving down a long and narrow road. On either side of the road—land, land, and more land. The sky is all gray. The clouds are low. And the cop is driving the beautiful woman to a place that is safe from her abusive husband. Suddenly, she makes him stop the car. She jumps out. She walks to the middle of the narrow road and says: "This is all there is. There is nothing else. Just mud and cows."
The whole movie is built around that line, that nothingness, the mud, the clouds, the cows—though I do not recall seeing one cow in the entire movie. What more do you want out of a thriller than this: a small creepy town, a fallen cop, a mad but beautiful woman, a violent husband, a corrupt doctor, mysterious children, and an alien geography?
The movie also references two great works of literature: Richard Wright's Native Son and Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. To get the Native Son reference, you have to watch the film. As for Moonstone, which many scholars call the first detective novel in the history of fiction, this paragraph (which is from the first and most important chapter of the book, "The events related by Gabriel Betteredge") says it all: "The last of the evening light was fading away; and over all the desolate place there hung a still and awful calm... Patches of nasty ooze floated, yellow-white, on the dead surface of the water. Scum and slime shone faintly in certain places... And even as I stood there waiting, the broad brown face of the quicksand began to dimple and quiver—the only moving thing in all the horrid place." The bog area near the small town in Terribly Happy is a "horrid place."