The Isle Image

The Isle

By Alan Ng | February 8, 2019

As I sit here, thinking about Victorian supernatural mystery, The Isle by Tori and Matthew Butler Hart, I confess I’m an oafish American. I once received a ten-minute lecture from a close friend for calling Jane Austin’s Emma, a Victorian rip-off of Clueless. My attempt at a snarky joke. Oh, and don’t ask me who Merchant Ivory is! All this to say, I now give you my unsophisticated review of The Isle.

Three sailors lost at sea in a small boat having just survived the mysterious sinking of their merchant ship far from their home port in Victorian Scotland. Captain Oliver Gosling (Alex Hassell) and crewmen Cailean Ferris (Fisayo Akinade) and Jim Bickley (Graham Butler) are the only members of the crew left. As the surrounding mist clears, Cailean sees a small isle off in the distance.

Arriving on the isle, our heroes quickly secure the boat and look for a way to start a fire, both for warmth and to signal to any other survivors. They soon find there are others on the isle when they are greeted by Fingal MacLeod (Dickon Tyrrell). Fingal brings the crew back to his small home for warmth and a bite to eat.

“Three sailors lost at sea…having just survived the mysterious sinking of their merchant ship…”

Not able to properly house his guests for the night, Fingal takes the crew to the home of Douglas Innis (Conleth Hill) and his daughter, Lanthe (Tori Butler Hart). Douglas is suspicious of his guests and warns them to stay inside until morning. Lanthe, on the other hand, tries encourage the crew to stay on the isle and warns of the dangers in leaving.

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  1. Bonnie Kidd says:

    I thought it was edgy enough. The plot required Oliver, the lone survivor, to know what had happened on the isle so that he could resist the siren song of the two girls and the murdered woman who controls them from beyond the grave. He can’t resist them, and they sacrifice themselves to save him and free themselves from the curse that has been imposed upon them. The plot is slow, but that is no problem for horror buffs like me who like to see character development and lots of atmosphere (and very little blood and gore) in our horror films. The cast is wonderful, and the film is very well written and beautifully photographed. For a low-budget indie, this film is a real winner. I highly recommend it to horror buffs who prefer the films from the forties and fifties, before Special Effects became the star of countless movies and gore found its audience of sickos with endless appetites. What a refreshing change it is to see a horror film with artistic merit to spare and no gratuitous violence.

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