Few modern horror movies are made equal; some are bad, some are good, and some are even great. I'm slightly more forgiving than most when it comes to criticism regarding the films of this fine, often fascinating genre; which is why I am able to bring myself to enjoy certain horror films that others might not like whatsoever. One such example is "Isolation"; a film that surprised me with its effectiveness and atmosphere. It's a ridiculous movie, but it has a good idea going for it, it wants to please genre fans; and it will. It puts us in a situation where we need to either accept it for what it is or get out.
An Irish import "creature feature" that was releases straight-to-DVD in the United States, the film is not one that has great characters, a great plot, or any sort of greatness whatsoever; but it works. It's so simple too: Several people are trapped for a few days and a few nights in a farmhouse when an experiment with cows goes horribly wrong. In the beginning, we see the farmer attempting to pull a baby cow from its mother's womb; only to encounter much trouble along the way. Eventually, he is able to get it out; but almost immediately, he must kill it in fear that it is sick and mutated. The baby has been born with peculiar fangs, which it uses for biting.
After it's put down, the cattle's corpse is inspected via autopsy for signs of birth defects and the like. Those observing get more than they bargained for, as within the body are several unborn fetus; and almost all of them escape and are set free onto the farm. The babies grow fast, and end up mutant cow zombies in the end. From then on out, the characters just need to worry about survival whilst these small, fast, and hungry little devils prowl the area silently and conveniently so.
I like B-movies. What's classic in this genre is classic; and we must make new movies like this all-the-same. A few filmmakers are actually quite good at making B-monster movies; Billy O'Brian (the director of "Isolation") included. My guess is that he got inspired and wanted to make a traditional, old-fashioned, cheesy horror flick; stylish and scary, and one that makes plenty a mess. I appreciated it for what it was; and yes, I even enjoyed myself. This is entertainment, plain and simple. I can't say it's anything more, but I did appreciate the good amount of craft that went into it. Will everyone enjoy it? No, it's far too simple and lacking in depth for that. But what it doesn't lack is ambition, wit, and genuine thrills. By the half time, I had successfully succumbed to its absurdity.
Another thing; what does the title "Isolation" imply? With a film attached to such a title, you've got to expect claustrophobia, and if that's what you want, well, then you've got it. There are some shockingly tense moments here; skillfully executed, masterfully shot, and therefore kind of brilliant. Few directors these days are as skilled and talented as Mr. O'Brian, who should most definitely go on to make bigger, better movies than this one. He's one of those filmmakers that caught a good break with his debut; which isn't too little and at the same time, not too small for my tastes. He has made a horrorshow that could make even the most cynical of genuinely grouchy bastards happy yet again. And I mean that. "Isolation" delivers the goods - according to formula and the expected clichés, yes - but it delivers nonetheless, and that's enough to impress me. While many B-movie-homages fail, this one's a sure winner; and I shall support it in any way possible. My final verdict: for horror fans, it's a must-see; I thought it was a pretty fun movie. For non-horror-fans; I just...I don't know. It's not a great horror film, so perhaps there are other, better movies that you could be watching, but if you want a time waster that can be observed to the point where it becomes a (gasp) GOOD MOVIE, then here's one to check out. "Isolation", among other things, deserves an audience and more recognition. And with a bit of luck, it shall get exactly what it deserves.