Island

"Good"

Island Review


Dark and atmospheric, this film is worth seeing just for the way it continually pushes us around emotionally. Although the plot never quite comes into clear focus, and it refuses to let us engage with the characters.

While working on a human geography project as part of her studies, Nikki (Press) travels to an isolated Scottish island and presents herself as a prospective tenant at isolated house owned by her birth mother Phyllis (McTeer), who doesn't recognise her. As she plots her revenge against the woman who abandoned her, she's surprised to discover that she has a brother, Calum (Morgan). But her continual questions about their husband-father are blanked, and life on the island becomes increasingly intriguing as she seeks answers about her past.

Directors Taylor and Mitchell use grey-tinged cinematography and an oppressively creepy sound-mix to create a jittery, dark visual style. It's seriously bleak and portentous, with foreboding skies constantly reminding us that there's no way this can end happily. Not that it's ever remotely happy along the way. But at least the mystery is compelling, keeping us guessing with half-answered questions, vague suggestions, hesitant conversations, haunting flashbacks and folk tales illustrated with inky animation.

Nikki's deep bitterness is complicated and intriguing; she wants to get even for her lifetime of misery, but is increasingly drawn to these people and this place. Meanwhile, Calum has a disarming innocence that's slightly unbalanced.

But this is nothing compared to his haunted, witchy mum, who keeps him on a tight leash amid her violent mood swings. All three performances are packed with jarring touches that border on camp.

In fact, the whole film is rather arch and gothic, and overplayed by the directors as well as the cast members. It's not particularly scary, but the fear in Nikki's eyes is pretty unsettling, and Press plays her with a haunted quality that's not always easy to watch. But the key action-oriented scenes are shot and edited in such a way that it's impossible to see quite what is happening. And the story takes some very dark turns that stretch our sympathy to the breaking point.



Island

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 138 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th February 2010

Box Office USA: $125.0M

Distributed by: Paramount Studios

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 69%
Fresh: 166 Rotten: 76

IMDB: 8.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Brek Taylor,

Producer: Amy Gardner, Clare Tinsley, Charlotte Wontner

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.