HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Shadow
Christmas Carol, A
Legend of the Demon Cat
Adventures of Sinbad, The
Wounds
Love & Peace
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Isabelle Stare Of SatanBuy this film here.
Year: 2018
Director: Robert Heydon
Stars: Amanda Crew, Adam Brody, Zoë Belkin, Sheila McCarthy, Krista Bridges, Alison Brooks, Booth Savage, Dayo Ade, Zoe Doyle, Shanice Banton, David Tompa, Michael Miranda, John Healey, Andrew Fleming, Sam Malkin, Markjan Winnick, Mark Waters
Genre: Horror
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Larissa (Amanda Crew) and Matt (Adam Brody) Kane are a couple in their thirties who have moved into a new home in preparation for the birth of their first child, and the baby is due in a few weeks. They are understandably looking forward to this, and have the support of family members, but the only thing that Larissa regards as a fly in the ointment is her new neighbours, an elderly lady (Sheila McCarthy) who stays with her disabled daughter Isabelle (Zoë Belkin), who spends her days sitting in her wheelchair by her bedroom window and staring out - usually at Larissa. But then tragedy occurs when she suffers complications a few days before her due date and loses the baby.

Now, starting a film with a stillbirth is not exactly the best way to get things off to a swinging beginning, and so it was that like many a low budget horror movie, Isabelle was grappling with subjects it was ill-equipped to handle with the skill required to either be taken seriously, or rejected outright. Nevertheless, that was what director Robert Heydon and his screenwriter Donald Martin kicked off with, and predictably the film never recovered from it, never mind its bereaved lead characters, it was simply too realistic an issue to be entertaining in a cheapo horror flick and if it was wanting to be sincere in its exploration of grief, maybe it would be better off without the nonsense.

Said nonsense dragged in the subject of Satanic ritual abuse to explain why its disabled character is sitting doing nothing all day but stare at her neighbour. At first, we think she is simply mentally challenged, which would explain why she finds this activity entertaining, but nope, nothing so sensitive, she's actually possessed by Satan. We know this because Larissa looks her up on the internet and discovers Isabelle's father was arrested for selling her soul to the devil when she was a child, something that would be ridiculous in an amusing way had it not been unfortunately clear that Martin believed SRA was a real happening and not an highly damaging social panic myth that hypocritically ignored the countless children abused by Christians of many denominations.

Make no mistake, Satanic possession in the movies made for classic horror - in a few cases, but endlessly recycling aspects of Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist does not a great film make (Heydon throws in another Roman Polanski movie, Repulsion, for good measure), no matter the numbingly abundant number of imitators those had spawned. And the fact these pictures were informing too many audience's views of spirituality, be they Christian or otherwise, could have been evidence that thinking on the profound was too hard work for most people to bother with, but the converse of that was they allowed facile efforts like this to do their thinking for them, when there was no sign this had any answers whatsoever about the matters beyond this Earthly realm. Was that what we were invited to contemplate?

With Isabelle, it was a definite maybe: there were scenes where Larissa's post-natal depression was treated like an excuse for shallow Christian lecturing that did more harm than good, and that did not make for enjoyable cinema. Otherwise, we were in jump scare territory as Crew wandered around a house that, like all the other houses, appeared to be lit by ten watt bulbs if at all, and in the gloom an apparition of her tormentor would spring up to make her scream or collapse - or in one instance of unintentional laughter, fall out of a window. There were too few good laughs here in what could have been entertainingly nutty, but the stillbirth ruined any mood conducive to that sort of diversion, and also the way we were asked to find an obviously psychologically damaged woman the battleground for the deity and His counterpart to play out their pointless games failed to prove its worth, either as philosophy or a decent horror. It just was not up to the task it set itself and its "all a dream"-equivalent plotting was insulting. Music by Mark Korven.

[ISABELLE will be available on Sky Store, iTunes and UK digital platforms from 30th September. Click here to buy from the iTunes website. ]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 486 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: