island black or schwarze insel is a mystery thriller film directed by miguel alexandre and starring hanns zischler, hanns zischler and mercedes müller, along with other cast members. the total execution time is 104 minutes.
netflix description says:
The dark secrets of a seemingly peaceful island threaten to engulf an orphaned student when he grows closer to a mysterious new teacher.
– the black island review contains no spoilers –
– activation warning for grooming –
black island begins with a woman who is attacked and killed by a dog. there is a woman standing near her who looks at her with hatred. the same woman looks with hatred at her son and the daughter-in-law of the murdered woman and they also die. This is Jonas’ family, who is now an orphan, except for his grandfather, with whom he presumably doesn’t get along.
Anyway, after this, Jonas moves in with his grandfather so as not to move off the island and a year later, everything seems fine. until, of course, the new teacher arrives. she is easy to use and different from others. she’s the cool teacher, you know? but is there something else going on here?
black island begins by creating a chilling atmosphere. We don’t know why the dog killed Jonas’s grandmother or why he killed Jonas’s parents. Either way, Helena seems mysterious. We’re told from the start that Helen has more at stake than meets the eye. he does things that normal people don’t and usually looks like a creep.
on the other hand, the relationship between jonas and his grandfather also seems a bit strained. clearly there were some problems between her father and her grandfather and that seems to be due to her rigid view towards writing, something that jonas is passionate about.
however, the black island is confusing for most of the movie. ok, it was scary because here’s some grooming. teachers who initiate sex with their students are disgusting and not cool at all. however, there is always an underlying sense of fear of the supernatural that we are unaware of for some time.
so you wait a long time to find out how things work together. was jonas’s family involved in harming hannah in any way? as we slowly peel back the layers, you’ll have a better idea of what’s going on. and as the layers peel off, it becomes increasingly apparent that this is a mediocre film. there’s a murder in the library that’s all too easily and comfortably solved.
Then, when Isla Negra reaches its final 30 minutes, it turns into the generic thriller that doesn’t thrill or scare. I’m sure he could figure out what’s going on, but he wishes it was something else, just for the sake of his sanity, at least. Plus, when the truth comes out, grooming takes on a whole other level of disgust.
Also, the movie starts off by giving us the impression that something supernatural might be going on, with the random dog attacking Jonas’s grandmother and all. however, there is nothing supernatural here, and I am confused as to why the creators thought this change in tone was necessary. it’s very confusing to watch and leaves you wondering what to think.
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the black island looks absolutely wonderful. The production quality is high, as expected from Netflix, and it shows in the look of the film. it’s beautiful and the light and shadows are perfectly balanced. The acting is fine and Alice Dwyer is mysterious enough to keep up the ruse. Philip Froissant as the confused Jonas is also good and believable.
summarizing: black island / schwarze insel
Black Island starts off with sort of a promise and is confusing enough to keep you mostly guessing. However, before long, things start to take the tried and tested route and eventually becomes a let-down. It’s not the worst movie out there, but don’t watch this with really high expectations.
black island airs on netflix.
Also read: sequels (2021) review: A decent thriller keeps it going