‘Schwarze Insel‘ is a German thriller film known in English as ‘Black Island.’ The movie is directed by Miguel Alexandre who co-wrote it with Lisa Carline Hofer.
Jonas Hansen (Philip Froissant) loses his parents in a car accident and goes to live with his overbearing grandfather and retired academic Friedrich (Hanns Zischler) so he can stay on his North Sea island home with his friend and crush Nina Cohrs (Mercedes Müller) to graduate high school. Jonas dreams of being a writer, but his grandfather insists he is not talented enough. A new teacher named Helena Jung (Alice Dwyer) arrives and takes a liking to Jonas after he helps her move into her new home on the island. Nina becomes jealous of the attention the teacher is giving him. After Helena encourages his writing, the two begin an affair, but little does Jonas know that she has a secret agenda.
The premise is set up and interesting. The idea of an isolated thriller, a talented young student finally getting recognition from someone, and a mentor who is plotting something in the shadows. I thought that they could not mess it up, but somehow, that is exactly what it did.
Except for Jonas, the characters are not really developed. Nina acts sporadic, one minute as a jealous girlfriend before going full Enola Holmes. It does not totally work out for her. Even Helena did not come off as that much of a threat. It seems a few phone calls or even a nurse with a brain during a hospital scene could have led to someone figuring out she had an agenda. The plot basically relied on everyone being stupid for her to continue in her goals. Likewise, the grandfather, who ends up being ridiculously important to the plot later is not giving that much information.
Of course, it would not be a piece of European cinema without some debauchery, but this time, it was in one of the grossest forms possible. It is not quite Cuties level, but just as disturbing.
Likewise, the plot did not flow well, becoming more predictable as it went on. It lumbers along with density, intrusive bleak music, and with characters that offered nothing to the plot would just be there to serve as plot armor for the story.
Bottom line, Black Island fails as a drama and a thriller. Its bland characters, disturbing themes, and predictability made it impossible to enjoy.
FAVORITE QUOTE: I guess that makes me your aunt.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Sexuality, Nudity, Strong foul language
Check out the trailer below:
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