Isolation (2005) Essie Davis, Sean Harris, Marcel Iures, Crispin Letts Movie Review

Isolation (2005)   3/53/53/53/53/5

John Lynch in Isolation (2005)

All Creatures Great and Bitey

Having taken over the farm his father ran Dan (John Lynch) has been forced to rent part of it out to a Bovine Genetics company to make ends meet whilst also dealing with two young lovers on the run from their family who have set up camp on his land. But something is not right with the experiments which the genetics company are doing with vet Orla (Essie Davis) being bitten by a calf still in its mother. When the calf is born things take an even stranger turn when on examination they find out that the foetus is pregnant and despite trying to destroy it one of these mutants escapes and starts wreaking havoc around the farm.

There is a scene in "Isolation" where farmer Dan has driven his tractor into some sort of sewage container or at least that is what it appears. He then has to wade through this dirty water back to the side as the others stand on watching. The thing about this scene is that whilst director Billy O'Brien delivers it with a lot of tension it is in truth all too familiar as we have Dan and everyone wondering whether this mutated foetus is in the water and will attack but of course something else happens as a dead body floats to the surface. And that is the problem with "Isolation" as what happens in it is familiar from one person hiding the fact they have been bitten to the scientist who is more interested in the science than the humans.

The truth is that the familiarity of "Isolation" is more than a little annoying because O'Brien has visually delivered a good looking horror movie with great use of a farm to create atmosphere. From the steam rising up from soaked floors to the milking tubes hanging down it all has an impact. And the special effects and make up are also impressive, not dominating the movie but giving it that impact so when you see someone's stomach ripped apart, like an alien has emerged from within, it does grab your attention, although admittedly because you do find yourself thinking of the "Alien" movies especially with O'Brien's use of darkness in the cowsheds feeling strikingly similar.

What this all boils down to is that with "Isolation" Billy O'Brien has delivered a decent looking horror but it is sadly one which constantly reminds you of other, much better horror movies such as "Alien".