Monday, November 25, 2013

Blind Spot: King of Devil's Island (2011)

Nilssen and Helstad are fantastic.

Directed by Marius Holst
Produced by Karin Julsrud
Written by Mette M. Bølstad, Lars Saabe Christensen, Eric Schmid and Dennis Magnusson
Starring Stellan Skarsgård, Benjamin Helstad, Trond Nilssen

Plot Summary: In 1915, a Norwegian boys home is led to uprising after the arrival of two new inmates.

Significance: One of Norway's most honored films in recent years, this was nominated in eight categories at the prestigious Amanda Awards, winning Best Film, Best Supporting Actor (Nilssen) and Best Score. Though relatively new and unknown, it's an intriguing gem that I'd wanted to see since last year. It's easily the least significant movie on my Blind Spot list, but it gave me an excuse to finally watch the film.

Thoughts: Though it's technically not set in a prison, it feels like a modern minimalist prison classic. It's beautifully shot, and I could almost feel the coldness of the Norwegian climate. The growing tension woven into the narrative is handled with refreshing subtlety, and the atmosphere really drew me in to the film. In addition, the younger actors are superb, especially Helstad and Nilssen. It's interesting to see these fledgling actors on screen with the veteran Skarsgård, who also delivers a fine performance. I'm glad I didn't put this film off until next month, because I was completely engrossed with one of my new favorites from 2011. While it's probably not an essential film, I highly recommend it if it sounds even slightly interesting.

Rating: ****

This is the eleventh film in my 2013 Blind Spot Series, as first started by Ryan McNeil.


  1. YAY!!! So glad you liked this. You know how much of a fan I am of this, and especially Nilssen. Great film.

    1. It's in my top 10 now, and I nominate Nilssen and the cinematography. :)

  2. Thanks for the great review! This sounds really interesting - I just added it to my instant queue.

    1. Yay! Thanks for the lovely comment. Hope you like it.