The Substitute (2007) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Substitute (2007) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on August 25th, 2018 | Movie Review, Worth Watching? | Alien, Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller, Teen

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It’s about a class of 6th graders who learn the hard way that their new substitute is a monstrous alien on a mission.

The Substitute was directed by Ole Bornedal (who also directed Nightwatch and The Possession) and stars Paprika Steen, Ulrich Thomsen (from The Thing) and Jonas Wandschneider.

AKA: Vikaren

The Substitute Review

Every now and again you'll come across a movie in Shudder that's not really a horror. This time around it was The Substitute. Ignore the misleading movie poster covered with skulls, ghost kids and a demon lady. The Substitute has no ghosts, demons or anything supernatural. It's a family-friendly Sci-Fi thriller with a healthy dose of drama about a group of kids who have to fight off a threat, without the help of their skeptical parents (think Stranger Things or Summer of '84).

So, that aside, it's a visually stunning movie starring a group of Danish kids with some serious acting chops. These young actors are right up there with the gang from It (2017) . I had a blast watching this, thanks in part to having a direct connection to Denmark. It's a fun movie to watch with the family on pizza night. There's no real violence, no gore and no nudity. There is a lot of swearing but, like It, it's coming from kids which actually lends to the funny feel-good vibes of The Substitute... er, I mean Vikaren, which my Danish wife INSISTS on calling it :)

Worth Watching?

As long as you're not in the mood for an actual horror movie, than absolutely. It's more like a scarier version of Earth to Echo, if the alien were evil rather than vulnerable, just without the found footage angle.
But, if you ARE in the mood for an actual horror that's also Danish and even directed by the same guy behind The Substitute, definitely check out Nightwatch. It's the original to the more familiar Nightwatch reboot featuring an all-star cast including Nick Nolte, Ewan McGregor, Patricia Arquette, Josh Brolin and even the horror legend behind Chucky, Brad Dourif.

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