Who knew there were black people in Ireland? I wonder if even the Irish are aware. Imagine my surprise watching this little Irish film when up popped (the unfortunately named) Ruth Negga, an Irish lass of Ethiopian descent who’d later co-star in AMC’s Preacher. She plays Mary, a young gal who’s run away from home with her boyfriend Jamie (Sean Harris) and ends up sleeping in their camper parked near a farm owned by Dan (John Lynch).
Given the title of the film, what initially seems like a psychological thriller playing on the fears of being alone in the countryside turns into something much different. You see, ol’ Dan has agreed to allow his dairy cows to be subjected to genetic testing (stop me if you’ve heard this one before), and believe it or not, the tests go awry! Somehow, through movie logic, a parasitic creature is generated that gets up in ya and eats its way out.
*SPOILERS AHEAD* In the end, not only is Mary the sole survivor, but the ending also presents a reversal of the typical horror roles for black and white characters, as Dan basically sacrifices himself, yelling at Mary to “Get out!” as he’s being killed. Tough cookie that she is, though, Mary sticks around long enough to kill the creature (probably a bit too easily) and save the day…granted, everyone else is dead. Even without the refreshing racial twist, Isolation would be enjoyable. It’s taut and engrossing and teaches you more than you ever wanted to know about birthing a calf. And still it manages some genuine scares — even if the monster tends to resemble a giant hair clip with eyes.