JULY 20, 2007
Back in October of 06, I sat down to watch Isolation as part of the LA Screamfest (which also featured Gravedancers, Behind the Mask, and HATCHET, a film I already declared my favorite of '07). After a few minutes, I walked out. Not that it was bad, but because it had the strangest projection errors I had ever seen in a film. Basically, it looked like it was cropped to a 1.33:1 ratio, but then stretched and cropped on the top and bottom to fit a 2.35:1 screen? It seems you would actually have to go out of your way to make something so wrong.
But finally, on DVD, I can watch the film properly. And I’m almost glad I didn’t see it in theaters, because it is a small, atmospheric film; the type that always plays better at home. In a theater, where I am unable to remove my pants, grab whatever form of beer or soda I choose, occasionally tease my cat, etc. I may have found the first half hour of the film unbearable. There’s a difference between setting mood and suspense, and just making a movie that isn’t quite horror. In fact I was beginning to wonder if the film was in fact just a farm training video, as we see pretty much the entire process of checking a cow for diseases and then birthing a calf.
Luckily, soon after the calf is born, the horror begins. Seems the calf itself is pregnant with some little bony monster things, the result of botched experimental drugs. Soon the little fuckers are slithering about and killing folks. Nothing wrong with that.
It’s nice to see a monster movie that forgoes “big action and thrills!” and instead focuses on atmosphere and a sense of impending dread. Like I said, definitely a film that plays better at home. It’s also nice to see an Irish horror movie. Just be patient with it, and you’ll enjoy yourself.
Patience is extremely important right from the start, as we are treated to FOUR animated production logos. I wish movies were like TV shows, where the production companies are credited at the END of the film. I’m all for giving credit where credit is due, but come on. Other than the company directly responsible for putting it into the theater (or DVD), there is no need for everyone to be acknowledged before we see frame 1 of what they are so proud of in the first place. Especially on THIS particular movie, where the real credits are incomplete! After the cast and title, they simply stop. The DP, composer, writer, etc. are not credited until the end. That's gotta be a first. Usually it's one or the other. Isolation went with... half? Prob some drunk Irishman doing the titles...
What say you?