Isolation (2005)

An experiment in cow genetics goes horribly wrong on the Irish countryside, leaving a farmer who is hard-up for money, the local vet and a duo of youngsters on the run to survive the aftermath.

Dan Reilly (Jon Lynch) gives in to the pressure to keep his struggling farm afloat and allows his stock to be used in a cow fertility experiment.  Everything seems fine until one of his cows develops some issues late in her pregnancy – and the vet who is handling the medical side of things seems more concerned than she’s letting on.  Soon, the cow gives birth (more or less) and Reilly’s entire stock is beset by this horrific parasite.  The cows aren’t the only ones in danger, either.  Reilly is forced to band together with the “company man” behind the experiment and a couple of drifters that happened onto his desolate little farm to try and not only stay alive, but keep the thing from getting off the farm.

By rights, this should have been a dumb movie about killer cows – but it’s done so expertly that it works.  The sound, lighting, sets and camera work are all very minimalist, giving the film a very raw feel.  Colors and sounds are muted and you really do feel the isolation – like these are the only people on Earth.  Lynch is superb and really draws you into his desperation – a man who made a deal with the Devil for which we all may pay the price.  The creature effects aren’t great, but the director does a good job of minimalizing the exposure – the terror here is more dreaded than seen for the most part.

The third act does devolve and become a bit formulaic, which is too bad, but it’s still all handled well.  A bit more drama at the end and a little less “run away from the monster” would have worked better, but this is still done effectively.

You know those films that sound great, but aren’t?  This is the opposite.


Stars: 4/5



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