It’s often a challenge to find a good Horror /Fantasy /Sci-Fi flick. There are a ton of such films made each year, and weeding out the good stuff can be difficult. I’ve recently had a chance to see a number of low-budget genre films that didn’t get much publicity, and likely have been overlooked by many. This new series highlights genre films, both domestic and international, that managed to craft a worth movie.
Isolation (Ireland, 2005)
The first hour of this film is a deliberately paced, creepy piece of work. Great use of the setting helped make it far more effective than I’d expected. Dark and atmospheric, the movie is entirely in a soggy wet cow farm in the remote Irish countryside. It’s alien, uncomfortable and unsettling, all while still being a little quaint.
A quote: “A moody horror opus about the fatal aftermath of DNA research at a remote Irish dairy farm” — Joe Leydon, VARIETY
The premise, genetic experiments on cows goes horribly wrong, seems silly right up until I began considering how likely it is that such experimentation is already happening.
The “’bizarre menace or global threat caused by scientists” has been a mainstay of movies, books and comics since the Atomic age. It’s use in fiction is often considered an allegory, warning of the repercussions of irresponsible behavior, a Prometheus like admonition for daring to push the boundaries of knowledge. It’s a dilemma I struggle with.
The world faces many man-made challenges (particularly ecological disasters, climate change, mass extinction of species, habitat loss, over population, etc), all of which can be overcome by man’s ingenuity. We’ll create ways to counter these effects; or we’ll move to a new planet where we can begin strip-mining anew. We’ll find a means of overcoming the adversity and thriving. Unfortunately that may require pushing the scientific envelope, and there’s always risk involved. Hence the dilemma. OK, moving on…
The movie’s third act is its weakest, by far, and the silly factor starts to interfere with the dark mood created by the on-screen tension and the very nice cinematography. Even with the second half drop-off, it’s still a pleasant surprise.