Director – Billy O’Brien
Cast – John Lynch, Ruth Negga, Sean Harris, Marcel Lures, Crispin Letts, Essie Davis
Release Year – 2005
Reviewed by John of the Dead
The Irish make horror films? I stumbled upon this Irish horror film and after quickly reading on the plot I decided to myself “well what the heck…it sounds interesting”, and sure enough…it really is! The science geek in me is the reason I found this film interesting, but I am sure those who are just looking for a unique story would be satisfied by this film due to the fact that there are some original elements in it that I have yet to see in another horror movie.
The film takes place on an isolated farm somewhere in Ireland. A dairy farmer named Dan is very low on money and gets involved with a local veterinarian named Orla, and a scientist named John, who want to use his farm as a laboratory for what seems to be a pregnant cow that is going to deliver any day. The cow delivers very soon, however there is obviously something wrong with the newborn calf. The calf is born with some very un-cowlike features and is even going so far as to repeatedly attack it’s own mother. We soon learn that both Orla and John were doing some quite unethical genetic experiments on the calf, which was supposed to revolutionize and bring more money to the dairy industry. Instead, they created something which will not only bring in more money, but may cost them their lives as well.
I know what you’re thinking…and NO, this film is not necessarily about killer cows. Not in a literal sense at least. As I mentioned earlier, the science geek in me is the biggest reason I enjoyed this film. I’ve always been a fan of films where genetic experiments go wrong, and those who are responsible begin falling victim to their own design. If you enjoy those types of films as well, then there is a good chance you will enjoy “Isolation”. I will admit that the film is a bit slow, but graciously picks up at the end with some great gore scenes and a cool looking creature, among other pretty cool things going on in the laboratory they have built.
Aside from pacing issues, I do not have too much to dock this film for. I do however believe that this film could have been executed much better, and that is why I am going to give this film the rating that it gets. This film had a lot of potential, as much as you can get from a plot having to do with cows, but overall I felt that if this film was executed properly and paced better that this could have been a really good horror/science film quite similar to John Carpenter’s “The Thing”.
Overall, this film is a bit slow, but delivers in the end. Fans of the horror/science genre may enjoy this, as well as those who just want to see a new aspect of the “genetic experiment gone wrong” horror sub-genre.