The creature effects in “Isolation” are small-scale but brilliantly executed, and the cast is watchable enough to warrant hours of story.
Genetically modified cows wreak havoc on a small subsidized farm in Ireland. Let’s dig into 2005’s ISOLATION, directed by Billy O’Brien!
As I See It
It has some The Thing vibes if it were shot on a farm. Horror is more implied for most of the film. Not that they don’t have a creature lurking about, but the size of them to start isn’t wildly threatening, so it is the potential of a viral mutation to escape the farm and wreak havoc on society as a whole.
The acting is phenomenal. Ruth Negga was great. Sean Harris was solid. But John Lynch as Dan, the least recognizable of all the actors internationally, was really good. The thought of the mutation being passed not only to a human who suffers a bite but to any onboard offspring evokes a debate that zombie films have pondered for time immemorial (or since 1968).
The creature effects are out of control. They’re original and move with such an organic rhythm that they’re completely believable as monsters come to life. The crystal-based body with the skeleton on the exterior looks painful and even gave a similar feel to Hellraiser for me.
Ruth Negga (Mary) played Tulip O’Hare in the TV series Preacher and Raina in the Marvel series Agents of SHIELD.
Essie Davis (Orla) played Amelia Vanek in the indie smash hit horror, The Babadook.
Sean Harris (Jamie) plays Solomon Lane in the Mission Impossible films.
Of Gratuitous Nature
The content seemed like it was going to be very on the nose allegorically for the state of our food supply and their steroid abuse and GMO diet. Surprisingly, it wasn’t.
Ruth Negga may be the obvious choice, but she’s also the right choice. She was the brightest spot of the live-action adaptation of Garth Ennis’s epic comic Preacher. That’s not to say that Dominic Cooper wasn’t good as Jesse.
Ripe for a Remake
Usually, when I come across a film with as much artistic worth as this one, I implore it not to be tainted with a re-imagining. But I do think there’s enough story and character here to continue the tale.
No genetically modified progeny to report.
Where to Watch
There hasn’t been a physical high-definition release as of yet, but you can stream it on Shudder, AMC+, Tubi, Amazon’s Freevee, Crackle, and FilmRise.