By Alan Graham

“Isolation” is an anthology film shot during the pandemic’s first lockdown, telling nine different stories in nine different locations. The stories take place in a fictional shared universe where a deadly, ever mutating virus – something more mysterious and deadly than COVID-19 – is causing the breakdown of society. Alongside the legal restrictions that applied in lockdown, the film makers were tasked to only use what equipment they had when they went into lockdown and they couldn’t use video conferencing technology, such as that utilised by the 2020 film “Host”

The problem with restrictions on any such production is that while they might inspire creativity, they also potentially limit the story telling possibilities. And given all these restrictions, “Isolation” ends up being an anthology that repeats itself too often – either isolated individual goes mad, or isolated individuals face a home invasion. It’s revealing as to the demographics of those in the film industry with the capacity to make professional looking short films with the equipment they had to hand that three of the nine films are basically “bearded white guy goes mad”.

Still, there are highlights – Zach Passero’s “El Paso” is an effective example of silent storytelling and Alexandra Neary’s “Miami” injects much needed horror basics when the lead explores a mysterious house. Bobby Rice’s “Seattle” starts beautifully, with a premise that has the potential to support a full feature length, but loses its way as the horror cliches mount up.

While the connections between the stories is subtly done, it does add a further limitation to the stories possible. No-one can really mess with the underlying universe the stories take place in. Which further limits the scope of the storytelling. The final result is an impressive looking and stylishly shot set of horror shorts that is stifled by an inability to include a true variety of voices or to excite with radical cinematic storytelling.

Arrow Video Frightfest Review: Isolation
2.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

About The Author