ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Isolation (2010)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Stephen T. Kay

Starring:
Eva Amurri /Amy
David Harbour/Dr. Sloan
Joshua Close/Jake
PLOT-CRUNCH
Cute chick (Eva Amurri) with very suckable looking lips wakes up in a hospital room and is told by the doctor (David Harbour) appointed to her that she's being contained cause she's got some rare disease. She eventually figures out that there's more at play going down ... and it gets ugly.
THE LOWDOWN
I always dug director Stephen T. Kay's visual style; I mean BOOGEYMAN was meh but it was stylish as f*ck and even though the Stallone GET CARTER remake was uneven, I blamed the script for that, not the fly directing. I kind of lost sight of Kay after the latter flick (he did mostly TV after GET CARTER tanked), but was in a tizzy to see his name attached to ISOLATION, a little movie that I could. I had never heard of this one before and here's one reason why; they are still in Post Prod with it, but I was lucky enough to see a rough version of it here at the 2010 Sitges Film Festival with a temp sound mix, image and score and it was pretty gnarly, even unfinished.

ISOLATION was one of them uno location flicks; they can hit or miss in my book and in this case it was a kapow. The main location was one that would give anybody the shivers; a hospital room. Don't know about yall, but they give me the creeps like forget about it; a hospital room (and of course a hospital period) basically means to me “you may be close to death”, its one of the Grim Reaper's main hang outs, (right after unprotected orgy parties) and the further away I am from them, the better. So ISOLATIONably played off that universal fear; imbuing its stage with a drab, cold and unsettling feel... yeah... like a real hospital room! Moreover, ya know how doctors always keep ya in the dark about shit when things are not looking up? How they talk in frustratingly vague terms? Or just out of their " you,re just a number" asses? The picture echoed that too... very efficiently at that. I wanted to strangle that “its okay, just be calm, its okay” rinse and repeat doctor. And nail his wife as a bonus! Maddening!

Story wise, ISOLATION moved at mucho effortless pace and gradually revealed its cruel intentions as we clocked forward hence keeping me in its grasp throughout. I was in there man, wanting to know what the f*ck was going on and root for that cute gal to win the day. On that, my anchor to it all was lead actress Eva Amurri who simply blew me away as the feisty protagonist Amy. Not only was she photogenic as hell (those eyes... those lips...yum... where do i sign) but her performance was so grounded, cedible and affable that she upped the stakes of the sordid happenings. I am putting her in the “ideal girlfriend” folder, she deserves it, lets see what happens. Topple on top of that Kay doing wonders with the camera to up the uneasyness of the piece (loved his use of out of focus and his hand-held shots), random moments of tension, a constant underlying feeling of dread and the side players coming through with bang on shows (David Harbour and Joshua Close as the doctor and his orderly were ideal casting) and you get a tight, gripping and effective little chiller.

What held ISOLATION back from being a masterpiece was that the aces it held in its deck were a tad transparent. I put the whole thing together at about the halfway mark and then waited for the film to catch up. I guess what I am trying to say is that the web of mystery behind this one wasn’t as clever as it thought it was. Its red herrings didn’t work on me and solving the puzzle at play was akin to winning a game of Mouse Trap via a "look what's that" trick and then cheating. And was I alone in not being 100% as to the “violent act” that sent the flick into its last 10 minutes? That moment felt forced, a non organic ruse to force the narrative in a direction, one that would lead to the final frames. Just didn't buy it and it hurt the affair in my overrated opinion. On the whole though, yeah ISOLATION was a kinda see through, but I had fun getting there anyways. This little ditty was a well acted, stripped down and highly engaging little indie; better than half the shit I see from the Studios now of late. So if ya in the mood for an easy one, bend her over and have a blast! No lube of course.... no room for politeness n this house.
GORE
We get some blood and one nasty slit throat. Gore was not on this one's chart.
T & A
Eva Amurri 's hospital gown sadly stayed on... but in mind it was off the whole way. Do with that what ya will.
BOTTOM LINE
ISOLATION (change the title, there are like 10 movies called that already) was a schweet little surprise, I didn't know what to expect, knew jack & coke about the film and then there I was getting my rocks off. A brrr inducing setting, an intrusive camera, a brilliant lead actress and an involving chain of events, this one went down smoother than shaved twat. On the flipside, the mystery wasn't challenging enough and one crucial moment felt manufactured to serve the last act but hey, what you gonna do? C'est la vie. Look at it this way though; I saw a rough cut of the picture and dug it, so I imagine hat the final cut will be even better. Check it when its released! Worth the slap.
BULL'S EYE
The film was written by Chris Billett - Unrest (2006)

The flick began shooting on January 25th 2010.
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