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The Substitute (2008)

Paprika Steen , Ulrich Thomsen , Ole Bornedal  |  R |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paprika Steen, Ulrich Thomsen, Jonas Wandschneider, Nikolaj Falkenberg-Klok, Emma Juel Justesen
  • Directors: Ole Bornedal
  • Writers: Ole Bornedal, Henrik Prip
  • Producers: Michael Obel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: October 14, 2008
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001D262KG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,042 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Substitute" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The sixth-grade students of a small town begin to realize that their new substitute teacher is an alien. When their parents don't believe them, they are forced to take matters into their own hands.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting little movie... January 13, 2009
The Substitute (original Danish title "Vikaren") is not a HORROR movie, it's a sci-fi movie with small elements of horror mixed in. This is more of a "family" type of sci-fi/horror movie like Lady in White or Stepmonster. The only reason this movie is rated R is because of a few (maybe 2 or 3) instances of the F-word. Otherwise this movie would be totally appropriate for kids probably 10 years old and up. The special effects are pretty cool for what must have been a very small budget, but they did leave me wanting more. We never get a full-on look at what the teacher would look like in her true alien form, (if you have seen the trailer, you've seen the best money shot in the movie) which is disappointing.

As far as the acting goes, the cast really outdoes themselves. The kids are great (think Goonies or Stand By Me) and the woman who plays the teacher does a wonderful job of tackling a difficult role. If you do buy this DVD, however, ONLY watch the subtitled version with the original Danish language. The dubbed English actors do their best, but it sounds like a Japanese Anime English dub the entire way through, i.e. the kids are all dubbed by 30-40 year old women and sound nothing like kids. 2 or 3 of the boys sound like they were dubbed by actual teenage boys but 90% of the kids just sound ridiculous, especially the main character boy's young sister and the token know-it-all girl in the classroom.

So anyway, if you like your "horror" light and breezy with hints of dark comedy and a whole lot of sci-fi thrown in, check this one out. Just remember to stay far, far away from the English dubbed version!!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining Suspenseful Comedy--3 1/2 Stars January 20, 2009
Part of the Ghost House Underground series of horror movies, THE SUBSTITUTE isn't a horror movie at all. Instead it's a suspense-filled comedy filmed in Denmark. The movie revolves around a 6th grade boy named Carl (Jonas Wandschneider). Carl was recently involved in a car accident in which he was injured and his mother was killed. Carl and his father, Jesper (Ulrich Thomsen) seem to be getting by, but inside each struggles with the death of their matriarch. At school, Carl's teacher takes a suspended leave of absence and the class is presented with their substitute teacher for the rest of the term, Ms. Ulla (Paprika Steen). Ms. Ulla is a strict disciplinarian who knows which buttons to push to keep students quite and get them upset. She seems capable of reading the students' minds and after a series of bizarre events, Carl and his classmates suspect Ulla isn't who she claims to be and soon discover that she's really an alien bent on world domination. Ulla wants to take the students on a field trip to Paris for what she claims is an opportunity to compete in a prestigious academic competition. The students know otherwise and attempt to convince the adults of what they already know before they leave for the trip and Ulla's plan is set in motion.

THE SUBSTITUTE was directed and co-written by the Ole Bornedal. Bornedal has a unique talent of making surreal films that aren't just entertaining, but are based in reality, have a moral foundation, and deliver social commentary. THE SUBSTITUE captivated my attention from the opening scene when a vortex through space opens and a silver sphere crashes to Earth, smashing into a chicken. That scene is hilarious and that dark humor is used throughout the movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"The Substitute" is not quite in the "so bad it is good" category, but I think it is definitely worth some laughs. The description of the film is fairly straightforward: this sixth grade class is getting a substitute teacher and they suspect that she is an alien. Sounds familiar, right? Well, this 2007 film is definitely another fun example of a movie that strikes you as being cobbled together from more familiar films. You have another teacher as alien like in "The Faculty," but they are teaching sixth graders (which makes them about the age of the kids in "The Goonies"), the flying sphere from "Phantasm," the idea of being taken to another planet like in "Cocoon", and several other cinematic points of reference that you can discover for yourselves. But that is not the main thing that makes this film fun.

THIS FILM IS DUBBED. That is because this is a Danish film and its original title is "Vikaren." Directed by Ole Bornedal ("Nightwatch") with a screenplay by Bornedal and Henrik Prip. When you pop in any of these Ghost House Underground DVDS you get the trailer for "Saw V" (or as we like to call it "Emily's Revenge," because it stars Scott Patterson from "Gilmore Girls"), and the trailers for the other seven GHU movies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I haven't actually seen this film but wasn't this the same premise as a Doctor Who episode "School Reunion"?
Published 2 months ago by L Salisbury
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid it.
The Substitute is a low budget, low quality Sfi-Horror movie that is made for someone about the age of 10 or 11. Read more
Published 6 months ago by RR in Texas
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the strangest
movies I have seen in along time. I love the actress who played the substitute. The character of the substitute is fantastic. Read more
Published on January 1, 2012 by K. Harper
1.0 out of 5 stars DUM
Save your money, poor acting, poor plot, spaced out and boring. One of the poorest movie's Ive seen in a long time and that's saying a lot.
Published on September 24, 2011 by Robert Akle
3.0 out of 5 stars Ulla Harms does not exist...
Part of the Ghost House Underground series, The Substitute (2006) is an alien encounter film from Denmark with an odd twisted story that generally holds your interest. Read more
Published on August 3, 2011 by trebe
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Dutch Horror
I have noticed over these last few years that the Dutch have cranked out some great horror films. I loved "Let the right one in" and it was made into an American version last year. Read more
Published on February 22, 2011 by Shaun G Rodriguez
4.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Life Of Teachers...
Something is seriously wrong w/ elementary school sub, Ms. Ulla Harms (Paprika Steen). Aside from being extremely nasty, she also appears to be able to read minds and see through... Read more
Published on September 23, 2010 by Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein
2.0 out of 5 stars alien comes to earth becomes teacher nothing new about this
the whole premise of this movie is nothing new. the director had an alien come to earth take on the form a sixth grade teacher to help her species survive by learning about love. Read more
Published on June 6, 2010 by s-dubbs
4.0 out of 5 stars Freaky teacher
Ghost House movies, this is a good one. Another teacher that is a freak and the parents don't believe the students. Check it out.
Published on November 19, 2009 by Electronics Addict
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange & Fun
I had seen a preview of "The Substitute" on another DVD and wasn't impressed. However, upon finding it cheap at a used bookstore I decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did. Read more
Published on November 7, 2009 by Gary Young
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