Evil (Ondskan) (2006)
Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 12
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 6
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 11,032
Erik is a 16-year-old boy whose life has been plagued by violence. Tormented by his abusive stepfather, he has hit back in the only way he knows -- by giving a good thrashing to anyone in his way. When he is expelled from public school, Erik is told he has one last chance to make something of himself and is sent to a prestigious private school. This time, he is determined not to mess up. Initially, Erik is overjoyed to escape his unhappy home, but he soon discovers he has merely substituted one
Mar 10, 2006 Limited
Jun 27, 2006
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site
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Movies like Evil entertain us by serving sweet revenge on a platter, and director Mikael Håfström manipulates emotions more intelligently than most.
Wilson, who plays Erik, had never been in a film before Evil -- which was nominated for a best foreign-language Oscar in 2004 -- and there's no reason that he can't make many more of them.
A commentary on the troubling gray area between acceptable and unacceptable forms of violence, especially where the molding of boys into 'real men' is concerned.
The way it plays out, Evil feeds the audience's bloodlust as much as it decries the worst acts of its characters.
A powerful tale of boarding school repression based on a novel written by a Swede very much in the Stieg Larsson mold.
On the surface it seems very familiar ... and not altogether inaccessible to American audiences, but it also has the depth and substance we expect from our imports.
Add the mystique of a foreign language, and suddenly the U.S. considers it an art film.
The narrative has the same familiarity as the setting as Erik has to fight forces bigger than himself, giving the audience a story that justifies (and, not so secretly, revels in) its violence. Call it Fight Club at a boarding school.
The second half of 'Evil' takes this genre into new and challenging territory.
Its stuffy, private-school scenes nearly turn the whole thing into The Dead Pugilist's Society, but this Swedish import does have its chilling moments.
Director Mikael Håfstrom exudes no subtlety and lets the blood flow, at odds with the nonviolent moral message this Oscar-nominated film aims to deliver.
Solid enough, its main flaw is a sense of restraint -- it never quite ventures into the surreal darkness of the obviously comparable If...
Director Mikael Hafstrom demonstrates a sure hand with the material and is definitely a talent to keep an eye on.
So unsubtle as to verge on the comical ... this didactic drama is set safely in the past and says nothing about the culture of conformity at all costs that hasn't been said before.
While it's sometimes obvious, Hafstrom's film is so emotionally satisfying on a gut level -- like Rebel Without a Cause -- that it holds you from start to finish.
Audience Reviews for Evil (Ondskan)
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