An uninhabited Pacific island surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef. A couple of naïve love birds making camp for a holiday of relaxation and scuba diving. A mysterious shack in the centre of the island. What could possibly go wrong?
The minimal ingredients and cheap production will draw comparisons to other ‘abandoned in the wilderness’ films such as Open Water and Frozen, but this is a far more coherent and sophisticated piece of film-making than the standard. It’s based on actual events and until around an hour into proceedings I still wasn’t sure what genre I was experiencing. It’s slow burning, beautifully shot and it’s probably best described as mysterious. It all unravels at a leisurely pace which lets the atmosphere percolate and develop to the point where the menace is dark and treacle thick, and essentially that’s what elevates it above and beyond every-day tales of uninhabited islands. Perhaps the fact that the director filmed it on location at a deserted Pacific island helped generate this sense of isolation and dread.
The two leads are adequate enough without setting the world on fire. They’re not especially irritating, but neither are they well fleshed out enough engender any sense of empathy in the viewer. Geraldine Hakewill (Beth) is the best of the pair with an understated and believable performance as the off duty marine biologist. Henry James (Harry) is less convincing in an Australian surf dude kind of way, with just the hint of Neighbours about his performance. If anything they’re worse together, when they’re either over the top lovey-dovey or gormlessly making stupid decisions.
It’s enjoyable enough, and pound for pound it’s way better than your average Hollywood blockbuster. There’s a definite story, a semi-believable situation and a certain sense of creepiness. With limited expectations it’s more fun than mowing the lawn, but less exciting than lower league football.6/10
(I've watched this too... and completely hated it. The characters severely irritated me right from the beginning and Doccortex's statement that they gormlessly make stupid decisions is possibly the biggest understatement ever. You're on a completely uninhabited island with an emergency phone and phone number of a bloke with a boat. But ooh aye, there's some footprints that don't belong to you. And there's a creepy shack. What would you do? Exactly. But no. They don't even use the phone when someone starts sniffing round the washing on their line (that just so happens to consist of her undergarments). Complete idiots that deserved to die in frame one. I could have coped with watching the sea lap against the shore for an hour and a half, but these two feckless cretins... beyond belief. The biggest irony is that I saw this just after I'd seen this nifty short:
The only upside is that it's technically well made. But you can't polish a steaming pile of mustard coloured dog poop that looks suspiciously like it contains dead maggots. So I'll give it:
If you like this you could try:
Open Water, Frozen, Wolf Creek.