King Of Devils Island review

Scum goes to Scandinavia

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Scum goes to Scandinavia in this Norwegian drama about 'maladjusted' youths sent to an island borstal who rebel against their oppressors.

Based on real events from 1915, Marius Holst’s bleak slow-burner puts sullen inmate Benjamin Helstad on a collision course with Stellan Skarsgård’s paedophile protecting governor.

The If -style revolt is tense and well-staged, but it’s finished too soon to elevate a largely languid whole.

After so much Stieg Larsson and The Killing though, it’s pleasing to see something from the Nordic countries that doesn’t involve police procedure and chunky jumpers.

Freelance Writer

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more.