There are not many things in the world that can combine the words bovine and terror and get away with it. Isolation does it, and only barely manages to scrape through. Teetering between an atmospheric horror movie and a creature feature, Isolation has a few good scenes, but on the whole falls short of being a memorable tale.

In a isolated farm (hence the title of the movie) a farmer Dan (John Lynch) agrees to have his cattle used for illegal genetic experiments. With a veterinarian Orla (Essie Davis) and the rogue scientist John (Marcel Iures) in charge, Dan quickly realizes that he does not know the world of trouble he has signed himself up for. And when it comes time for the cow to give birth, Dan has to ask for the help of a young vagrant couple for help.

Which is when all hell begins to break loose. What spawns from the genetically modified bovine is part chest-burster, and part scurrying rodent with an ability to "infect" DNA. In the ensuing death and destruction, you realize the number of scary and disgusting places a farm can contain. There are hay filled cow pens, water logged corners, squeaky floor boards and of course the opportune failure of technology.

Despite being predictable, some of the scary scenes are well executed. Add in some realistic gore of animal autopsy, there are enough chills to keep you interested. The creature is old-school animatronics and that shows through. Some of the scenes are almost hilarious to the CGI trained eye. But through it all, what sticks with you is the dark atmosphere that permeates through each of the scenes. Setting horror movies in cloudy Irish weather seems almost natural - wonder why there aren't a lot more set in the cloudy highlands.

Isolation is not a novel horror movie. But as creature features go, this is a well made consistent flick that keeps you expecting something bad from the very first scene. Pity there isn't much that actually happens though.

May 31, 2011


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