Sergio Leone gave cinema the spaghetti western, but there isn’t yet an equivalent term for Scandinavian riffs on the classic hard-boiled detective yarn. "The Killing," a fantastic new AMC adaptation of a popular Danish television series, certainly qualifies as a smorgasbord thriller. It’s unnerving how well the Nordic sensibility fits a genre that for a long time seemed indisputably and inimitably violent and American, particularly given that Sweden, Norway and Denmark have homicide rates that suggest that they have more mystery writers per capita than murders.
There are so many Scandinavian crime solvers besides Henning Mankell’s gloomy detective, Kurt Wallander, or Steig Larsson’s hacker heroine, Lisbeth Salander. Yet even among all those popular imports, "The Killing" stands out -- it is as scary and suspenseful, but in a subdued, meditative way that is somehow all the more chilling.AMC and FX have really progressed.