REview: Isolation (2005) | Present Shock

There are few things that bug me more than movies that open with ‘Based on a True Story’ because more often than not they’re based so loosely on anything resembling truth that it’s barely relevant – a market James Wan has cornered with The Conjuring and its sequels, which neglect to tell viewers that the truth they’re based on is so minimal it’s barely worth mentioning (for instance, the horrid looking doll from Annabelle not only looked nothing like the figure from the movie – it was a Raggedy Ann doll – though any weirdness revolving around it comes from the Warrens’ testimony, which should make people very, very suspicious).

Which isn’t to say that Billy O’ Brien’s Isolation is based on a true story – it isn’t – though in these pandemic-filled days, it rings uncomfortably true.

The movie revolves around a farmer who’s being paid by mysterious parties to inject his cows with a chemical that’s supposedly going to make them more fertile, but ends up working in a manner no one quite anticipated.

What’s interesting is that the plot is very similar to the Season Two The X-Files episode, Red Museum which by my reckoning was one of the better episodes of the series.

What’s also worth mentioning that Isolation is an early movie of the filmography of Sean Harris (who’s appeared in 63 movies thus far) and Ruth Negga (who I discovered relatively recently despite that she’s been in television and movies since 2004 and has appeared in 43 thus far) who bring a certain gravitas to things that work really well.

Isolation takes itself quite seriously, which works really well for the material because if this were a domestic movie I get the feeling that it would have been a bit goofy, potentially Roger Corman-esque (which isn’t a bad thing in and of itself though there’s a time and a place for everything).

Though it isn’t that movie.

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