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Isolation (2005)

Lionsgate, what else...

....oh, ahem. Sorry. Didn't know anyone was already listening/reading/watching, as I'm prone to random forgetfulness these days (yay for Gabapentin...). Wikipedia doesn't really mention it, but the side effects of this drug are impressive indeed. It's like having a déja vù all the time.

Anyways, enough of your host's (that would be me) rambling, and on to what ails us this time: Isolation

.As I already mentioned to TF*, this millennium is in some ways a new start in Horror. I mean... we have Sheep Horror (the brilliant Black Sheep from New Zealand, which I should review here anyways and prbably will), and now there's Cow Horror.


Cow Horror.

This is what Isolation is about, basically.

For all you city folk out there, the concept of Cow Horror may be funny and all that jazz - but trust me, you didn't grow up around cows. You are missing something important - the mental link to this absurdity horror cinema throws at us. I have it. Win.

Let me preface this review with a fact: If you ever wanted to see how it looks like when a vet sticks an arm up a cow's ass, this movie is the movie for you. It will also remind you of past traumata (as in my case).

The setting is Ireland, the present. Some scientists** played around with the DNA of a cow - and now, the cow is calving, but the little critter is stuck in the, erm, inside of said cow. It's a bit sad that I didn't get a name for the animal, as I'm sure that even Irish farmers name their cows. I bet she's called "Betty" or something.

What actually scares me is the semi-enticed look on her face whilst feeling up Betty.

Scenes full of human drama enfold as we witness the tragedy that sets the premise of the movie up: The cow has difficulty giving birth, although two men are trying to get the little thing out. You see, Betty - let's call her Betty, shan't we? - is "very tight". I kid you not. Seriously.

Half stuck, Betty's calf already is something of a mystery to us - the thing inside her actually bit the veterinerian Orla who's caring for her (Essie Davis) whilst being in the womb, and the presence of a mad scientist (more on that later) doesn't help. We wonder - what is it? It's just a cow, right?

...or not.

Dan the farmer, who apparently owns the cow (Betty), as portrayed by actor John Lynch of various other movies' fame, gets bitten by the little one as he and Jamie (Sean Harris) try to help with the birth of the young. Something is indeed wrong with this genetically manipulated little calf.

Jamie and Mary: Apparently live in a trailer and are on Dan's land. My first guess was that they're in this movie to provide more gruesomeness. Mary even has resp. had a believable backstory, to my utter surprise. Then again, In was oblivious to the obvious.

Many of you city-folk (well, those of you who are A) actually readung this, B) familiar with the concept of "rural areas", C) live in an actual city, D) only see the countryside in movies or on vacation) will wonder about some points in the movie, or rather, one point: Why is everyone familiar with cows and how to handle them in this movie?


Us countryfolk are... well. We are usually familiar with the animals living around us. This is where the past traumata I mentioned at the beginning of this review come in.

Did you know lots of little girls want to become veterinarians? I already told teh_mally*** and TF* about it, and now you're in for the ride as well.


... back to the movie at hand.

Just like Black Sheep managed to make sheep into scary creatures, Isolation manages to effectively keep you on the edge of your seat once it gets going. It's creepy. And I'm not saying this out of some ...twisted fear of the countryside or somesuch thing. No, ghouls and ghosts, ladies and gentlemen and those of other persuasions***** - it's the movie. Yes, the story might be ridiculous and sound as if some totally stoned up Irish guy came up with it whilst hitting the bong one too many times, but it is a beautiful, well-crafted creature feature that is made out of the simple and stupid pretext of "mutant cow monsters".

On a stupid sidenote, it's amazing how much shit these animals produce. I almost forgot... but Isolation brings it back mercilessly.

Personally speaking I think that the movie works better for people with a certain, uhm, experience with the countryside. Especially the remote countryside. But aside from adding that little ..."personal touch" to horror, the movie delivers anyways. I won't give away too much because I actually recommend watching this movie and don't want to give too many spoilers than I already have, but damn - Isolation is infectuous (teehehee) with its cow-induced madness.

I mean... it has to say something that a gorehound like me thinks that a movie about cows is creepy and has jump-scares as well as unexpected deaths aplenty if you think of the limited cast (only 8 persons, if my count is correct). Well, not aplenty as in "lots of them" thinking of numbers, but as in "lots of them considering how many people actually appear in this movie".

I won't say more besides that it has a really icky twist and that the end really blows home.

8.5/10 biting teeth that are coming for you...

P.S.: Also, don't buy the German edition of the DVD if you want to watch your movie in English without subtitles. The German subs are hardcoded, which sucks balls royally and pissed me off to no end. I can understand English just fine, thank you very much, Sunfilm Entertainment. Fuckers.

P.P.S.: Thanks to Kroh for notifying me of this: http://www.shagrat.net/Portfolio/cows.swf
100% SFW!

* The Friend, in case you forgot. You know, the one who rarely reads the reviews and is the one who happens to be the person I watch the presumably "better" movies I get with. He also said I shouldn't buy the special edition limited 2-discs widescreen - something of Talos the Mummy with Christopher Lee. I still mourn this nonexistant loss.

** Exactly. Black science. I knew you'd all remember, my faithful, loyal min.... readers. You rock!

*** Dude. COW LEVEL!****

**** Gabapentin: Serious business.

***** I'm PC. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean I can access the net via my hardware and software, but that I care for those that society doesn't like. Or something like that. Besides, Rincewind****** just puked in the kitchen.

****** The Primordial Malice From Beyond Time And Space