Evil (Ondskan) (2006)

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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 prison for another. The school is run by a rigorous and unjust code, enforced by senior students rather than the faculty. In fact, the teachers prefer to ignore what goes on among the students, including beatings and a wide variety of humiliating rites. Soon, Erik is faced with a dangerous choice: confront his oppressors and risk expulsion, ignore them and suffer humiliation, or let his friends suffer for him.

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Critic Reviews for Evil (Ondskan)

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (14)

Extremely watchable, even if it never goes as deep as it should.

May 5, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Hafström's dramatic sense is ... pedestrian and snail's-pace obvious.

Apr 1, 2006 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

Movies like Evil entertain us by serving sweet revenge on a platter, and director Mikael Håfström manipulates emotions more intelligently than most.

Mar 31, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

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.

Mar 31, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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.

Mar 30, 2006

The way it plays out, Evil feeds the audience's bloodlust as much as it decries the worst acts of its characters.

Mar 23, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4

Audience Reviews for Evil (Ondskan)

Great movie. Lundstrom is amazing as Eriks nerdy friend Pierre. The cinematography and musical score are both really good. One of my favorite Swedish movies.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

½

This movie really lived up to it's name. These kids were creepy, evil, horrible human beings. I was at the edge of my seat for most of the movie. Thank god I don't know any kids like these kids.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Gripping film of a teenage boy who's life has been dominated with violence from the world around him, and within his own family. The violence which erupts in the schools shows how mean kids can be, but raises the question of why they are mean in the first place. The main character Erik is expelled from school for lashing out at anyone who he feels to be in his way, and is sent to a prestigious private school where the students may just have more control than the teachers, and run with a rigorous, unjust code that makes sense only to those who run with it. Erik(Andreas Wilson) is faced with the choice of facing up to the madness at school for himself and his friends, or to fall back into the "home" life he fled from.

Eric S
Eric S

Super Reviewer

Ondskan is a story that has been told numerous times and with the same plot twists. Group A rules over Group B, until a newcomer to Group B questions their position. This leads to humiliation and violence which soon reaches boiling point. Ondskan does this story very well. Mainly due to the fact that Wilson isn't a saint when he joins the school. He tries putting his own personal 'evil' away, but then realises how to release it. It's entertaining and engaging, but you know what's going to happen far too early on.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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