Isolation (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes


Isolation (2006)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

An experiment in bovine genetic modification goes horrifically wrong in writer/director Billy O'Brien's debut feature, Isolation. John Lynch stars as Dan a cattle farmer on the remote Irish countryside, whose ex, Orla (Essie Davis of the Matrix films), a veterinarian, has convinced him to take part in a profit-driven experiment on his cows, run by John (Marcel Iures), an officious scientist who seems very concerned with maintaining secrecy. Orla is conducting a routine check on a pregnant cow, and her hand is inside the animal, checking the unborn calf, when something bites at her. John is called to the farm, and reassures them that the safety checks were all okay. He's more concerned with the presence of a caravan just outside the farm. The caravan is occupied by Jamie (Sean Harris of 24 Hour Party People) and Mary (Ruth Negga of Breakfast on Pluto), a desperate young couple who are apparently hiding out from something. That night, after Orla and John have left, Dan hears his cow wailing. Dan's phone is out, so he reluctantly turns to Jamie for help. After a protracted and painful delivery, Orla turns up, and decides to "shut it all down." She kills the mother and the calf. Examining the calf, she realizes that it was born pregnant, and the "severely malformed" fetuses have distinctly un-cowlike exoskeletons. Unfortunately for all involved, one of the offspring survives, and when John finally shows up, he suggests that the farm be quarantined, as there may be a danger of "infection." Isolation was shown by the Film Society of Lincoln Center as part of the 2006 Film Comment Selects series.

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Critic Reviews for Isolation

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1)

Novice writer-director Billy O'Brien brings a seriousness of purpose and a modicum of showmanship to the task of serving generic B-movie cheese in Isolation

October 20, 2005
Top Critic

Working from a rather inauspicious premise ... writer-director Billy O'Brien conjures a remarkable genre achievement: a somber, sad, and absolutely convincing film that is also genuinely terrifying.

July 11, 2008 | Full Review…

Isolation is a claustrophobic, increasingly icky chiller that is just as horrifying for its underlying ideas as for the more visceral shocks that it presents on screen.

June 13, 2007 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Taking itself far too seriously and nearly devoid of suspense, Isolation gets kudos for a nice try... but I can't recommend it.

October 13, 2006

Fans of good old-fashioned creature features should be very pleased...

August 5, 2006 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

...too much buildup and not enough payoff.

September 26, 2005 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Isolation

A decent Irish chiller clearly inspired by "Its Alive" and "Alien". I enjoyed the earlier stages more. Isolation here lives up to its name -- the dilapidated and perpetually dark cattle farm, the cows in gruesome distress, and messy bloody trauma scenes. Alas, for all that good atmosphere it migrates to the same old critter hunt -- even doing a version of "Aliens" air ducts scene, and then leaving us hanging with an ambiguous ending. yeesh..

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


A very low budget horror set in Ireland on a farm. Very much like the Thing but on a much smaller scale. Great for a low budget indie film. Slow to start but the second half of the film is quite creepy.

Dean King
Dean King

Super Reviewer

Good old-fashioned monster film from Ireland (with nods to Alien and The Thing) about man's continued meddeling with mother nature--this time cows and wind up with a genetic mutation that looks like something out of the imaginaton of HP Lovecraft as it has no discernable shape or symmetry. No CG, decent amounts of gory stuff, competent cast and a brief running time make it a welcome addition to the monster mayhem genre.

A.D. Villarreal
A.D. Villarreal

Super Reviewer

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