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    Evil (2003): Movie Review

    The world is not a perfect place to live in. For at every corner, there are lurking menaces. Even in places where supposedly there is safety, danger is silently waiting. In this 2003 Swedish drama film, Evil (Swedish: Ondskan) takes us into the life of fifteen-year old Erik Ponti and the evils he faces both in his home and in his school.

    The movie is set in 1950s Sweden. Erik (portrayed by Andreas Wilson) is expelled from his school because of fighting. His mother sends him to a prestigious boarding school in the hope that Erik turns a new leaf, as well as for him to escape the beating of his sadistic stepfather. But Erik soon learns that behind the mask of prestige, the school hides a different form of evil, something more subtle and grimmer. From being the bully of his previous school, Erik has now become the prey.

    At Stjärnsberg Boarding School, the older students, presumably the student council, exercise atrocious rules over the school. Led by Otto (Gustaf Skarsgard), the council abuses freshmen students physically and psychologically, all happening before the blind eyes of the faculty. Erik is not the type to be pushed around, and when he refuses the absurd requests of two councilmen, he becomes the subject of bullying. Yet, Erik is a changed man and violence is not anymore an option for him.

    So in the days that follow, Erik endures the torturous ploys of the council. The only curtain of safety that protects him is his membership to the swimming team. But when the council turns to attack his meek roommate Pierre and his love interest Marja, Erik unleashes the monster in him again. Will violence win over violence? Can anger hidden for so long be a more terrifying evil? And will Erik defeat the evil in him, in his school, and in his home?


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