Friday, May 12, 2017

Is There Such a Thing as a Vegan Horror Movie, or Thoughts on Isolation

Isolation (2006), a claustrophobic Irish bio-horror film, features Essie Davis, who you know from The Babadook (2014) and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (2012-2015) as Orla, a country vet helping out with a difficult birth on a dairy farm.  There are some genetic mutations and grisly farm scenes; life on the farm is not all talking pigs and friendly spiders, sometimes you have to deal with creepy crawly spiked centipedes that burrow into people, lay their eggs and eat their way out.
With Irish actor Ruth Negga, Tulip O’Hare from AMC’s Preacher as Mary, an Irish Traveler staying in her caravan on the farm along with her boyfriend Jamie and a very spare cast of 5, Isolation is essentially Irish Alien (1979) on a farm that succeeds in making cows scary.  The film takes advantage of its modern farm setting; the bleak desperation and filth are almost palpable.
The aforementioned genetic mutations are completely analog, in-camera effects reminiscent of The Thing (1982) and early Cronenberg movies like The Brood (1979), and prove once again that less is more and a simple hand puppet can be far more disturbing than a photo-realistic digital monster.  Written and directed by Billy O’Brien, and also featuring Sean Harris, who you may remember as Ian Curtis in 24 Hour Party People (2002) and Prometheus (2012) as Jamie, the Irish Traveler boyfriend.

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