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Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Screenplay: Nikolaj Arcel, Rasmus Heisterberg
Cast: Sarah Langebaek Gaarmann, Lucas Munk Billing, Lasse Borg, Anders W. Berthelsen, Beate Bille
Producers: Sarita Christensen, Meta Louise Foldager
Distributor: The Danish Film Institute
North american Premiere
2008 | 13 min
Spanish language, English subtitles
Luluís living a 14-year-oldís worst nightmare, leaving the city and all her friends there to relocate to Broby, a dull-as-death hamlet where she doesnít know a soul. With nobody but her little brother and her mom for company, Lulu fights off boredom by burying herself in a variety of books about black magic. The topic is so salient to Lulu that she even entertains herself by summoning the dead by way of an Ouija board and a bunch of candles. A little game to pass the time, nothing more. One night, however, her sťance goes terribly awry. The spirit of a deceased person takes possession of her little brotherís body and through him, pleads with Lulu to join a crusade against the forces of evil. Itís revealed that this benign spectre was once part of secret society devoted to bringing an end to reign of terror of the Necromancer, a malevolent being of inhuman power. After decades of silence, the demonic sorcerer has resurfaced on an island not far from Broby, where even now he secretly plots world domination. Lulu has to stop himóeven if it means being out after bedtime!
With THE SUBSTITUTE and ISLAND OF LOST SOULS at Fantasia this year, proof is at hand that Denmark is more than capable of banging out movies that can delight the whole family. Even if it is aimed primarily at a pre-teen audience, ISLAND packs in enough darkness and sheer creepiness to please any lover of genre film. Without giving too much away, letís just say that the eventual encounter between Lulu and her nemesis is on par with the payoff of Tim Burtonís SLEEPY HOLLOW. ISLAND also boasts a grown-upís sense of subtle black humour and self-parody. Though it owes a debt to HARRY POTTER, ISLAND OF LOST SOULS outdoes the Hollywood series by nimbly dodging the potential pitfalls of oversimplification and melodrama. If you dug Takashi Miikeís THE GREAT YOKAI WAR at Fantasia in 2006, youíll fall in love with magical fable!