An Underrated Alexander Skarsgard Film Is On Top Of The Streaming Charts

Alexander Skarsgard's The Northman is currently the number one movie, worldwide, on HBO Max.

By TeeJay Small | Updated

Alexander Skarsgard

The Robert Eggers viking epic The Northman has entered the top 10 this week on HBO Max, according to Flix Patrol. The film, which boasts incredible visual style alongside Alexander Skarsgard’s criminally underrated performance, is being viewed and praised by film lovers all over the world. The critically acclaimed film is the third directorial outing for Eggers, following 2015’s The Witch and 2019’s The Lighthouse.

The Northman follows the tragic and bloody journey of Alexander Skarsgard’s Amleth, the son of a Viking king who must journey home to reclaim the throne after his father was viciously murdered by his own brother. If this plot sounds a bit familiar to you, you may have recently watched The Lion King or any number of Hamlet productions. In fact, the film is based on a centuries-old Viking legend aptly titled the Legend of Amleth, from which William Shakespeare’s Hamlet took direct inspiration.

Though the film’s synopsis may come off as a paint-by-numbers revenge story, the epic journey and unflinching brutality of the production are enough to make a real-world Viking squirm in his chair. Over the course of Alexander Skarsgard’s excellently portrayed hero’s journey, Amleth encounters mythological monsters, a weapon that feels like it was pulled directly from an Elden Ring playthrough, and a familial secret that shakes the core of his very being. The unbelievable visuals of the film defy its estimated $60 million budget and look every bit as breathtaking as any of the latest Marvel outings while masterfully weaving complex, well-rounded characters against a brutally realistic and wonderfully surreal folktale.

alexander skarsgard the northman
Alexander Skarsgard in The Northman

As is always the case in a Robert Eggers period film, the award-winning director worked alongside historians and performed painstaking research to ensure the settings, dialogue, and culture were as authentic as possible. Eggers maintains that the editing process for this film was one of the most taxing filmmaking experiences of his career, as he worked to appease executives behind the scenes at Universal Studios while balancing the humungous undertaking of this lengthy and powerful story. Alexander Skarsgard was the first to join the project, which he also produced because he was fascinated by Viking culture due to his own Nordic family ties.

Joining Alexander Skarsgard on the cast are frequent Eggers collaborators Willem Dafoe and Anya Taylor-Joy, who starred in The Lighthouse and The Witch, respectively. Other high-profile A-listers appeared in the film as well, such as Ethan Hawke and Nicole Kidman, as Amleth’s royal parents, and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson of Game of Thrones fame. Alexander’s cousin Bill Skarsgard, one of the half dozen members of the Skarsgard family known to act for the big screen, was originally attached to play Amleth’s cousin, but had to drop out for scheduling purposes after the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the shoot back by several months.

While The Northman remains criminally underrated, even with its current streaming boost, we’re anxiously awaiting the next installment in Robert Egger’s air-tight filmography. All we can assume for now is that the fourth film in Egger’s catalog will likely be another perfectly executed period piece, complete with picturesque landscapes, powerful performances, and his trademark touch of full frontal nudity.