Isolation (2005) d. O'Brien, Billy (Ireland)
Slathered in grime, mud, blood and bovine lube (!), this highly realistic shocker from Irish writer/director O’Brien takes horror down on the farm – by the time the credits roll, you may never look at that steak on your plate the same way ever again.
With top notch performances from his game cast (in particular vet-for-hire Essie Davis and John Lynch as a hapless farmer caught in the wheels of “progress”), O’Brien takes his time laying the groundwork for his tale of bio-engineering, anchoring viewers in the tactile muckiness of day-to-day life of tending to pregnant cows, then gradually lets the creature feature ooginess take center stage.
Brought to savage and scrambling life by designers Philippa Wright, Stephen Brown and makeup maestro Bob Keen, the resulting critters are quite possibly the ugliest beasties to skitter across the screen and they’ve got the attitude to match their grisly exterior.
Released with little to no fanfare here in the States, this is the kind of underground sleeper that demands the attention of horror fans everywhere: Original, believable and memorable. (Heck, the “birthing” scene alone is worth the rental price.)