22 June 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
Death stalks the fishing village
Was drawn into seeing 'Island Zero' with a cool poster/cover, a very intriguing and creative premise and as someone with a general appreciation for the genre. That it was low-budget, which from frequent personal experience is rarely a good sign due to that there are so many poor ones out there, made me though apprehensive.
'Island Zero' is a film it doesn't do enough with its potential (although there are far bigger wastes of potential in film) and could have been much better, can't say that it is a great film because it isn't. It is not a terrible film though, as far as recent low-budget film viewings go it's better than most but with good things. It certainly could have been far worse, considering the large number of films seen recently being mediocre at best and irredeemably terrible at worst.
Lets start with the positives. The scenery is atmospheric and spooky and 'Island Zero' is surprisingly well shot considering the budget. The music is ominous.
Found that the acting was not bad, while not award-worthy it was not amateurish and it seemed like the actors were trying to engage. The direction has assured parts.
Also that there were a few nice moments that intrigued and there was some suspense, frightening horror and unsettlement, the first portion is promising.
The suspense and unsettlement doesn't come consistently however, with the second half not having enough of either. What stops them from being frequent and stronger is an at times deadly dull pace with too many overlong scenes of little going on, not all necessary either and there for padding mainly, and also a structure that is not as cohesive or clear as it could have been. The less suspense and sense of horror there is, the more senseless and ridiculous it gets, the ending is ludicrous. Part of me felt it could have been more claustrophobic with the close-knit setting and community, some of the film feels too safe and restrained for such a dire situation.
'Island Zero's' idea was great but the content didn't always feel enough for a feature film. It feels more like a short film over-stretched at times. The over-stretched sense is present too in a rushed-first-draft-stage and talky script and a pace that goes overkill on the slow burning. With a pace and structure that fails to compel it is very difficult to ignore.
Characters have very little to them, while the budget limitations show in the editing, which is careless at times, and especially the effects, which look afterthought-like.
Overall, not an easy film to rate or review. Not awful, not much to get excited about. 5/10 Bethany Cox