Island Zero – USA, 2017

‘Every THING needs to eat.’

Island Zero is a 2017 American horror film directed by Josh Gerritsen from a screenplay by Tess Gerritsen (Adrift). The Donkey Universe Films production stars Laila Robins, Adam Wade McLaughlin and Teri Reeves.

A fishing community on a remote Maine island finds itself suddenly cut off from the rest of the world after the ferry stops coming. When people start to vanish, the terrified survivors realise that someone – or something – is hunting them…

Reviews:

…Island Zero starts off with great promise: it builds at a nice pace, has interesting characters who are performed well, along with an intriguing premise. Unfortunately, all these pieces come together in a sad climax, leaving Island Zero to lose the wind in its sails before it can cross the finish line.” Dave Heath, Cryptic Rock

“Yes, much of the plot is formulaic, but the ensemble cast approach means it’s less clear than usual who – if anyone – will survive. The science behind the plot is much more coherent than usual and adds a menacing touch of believability to the underlying premise. There are hints of HP Lovecraft’s Innsmouth mythology…” Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“Unfortunately, the majority of the picture relies on the creatures being invisible to the naked eye, which could be horrifying, but in this case is clearly just to save money. A strategically placed heat-sensing device is used as a way to “view” the creatures, who are not visually impressive (there are a few well-placed tentacles in lieu of any detail), but manage to pose enough of an all-encompassing threat so that the script doesn’t suffer.” Holly Interlandi, Famous Monsters of Filmland

“If you dig on H.P. Lovecraft or Silent Hill, chances are you will love Island Zero; it’s a great atmospheric fright flick that will make horror hounds happy despite it’s deficit of creature action.” Horror Fuel

“What we are given is something unique, nearly reminiscent in pace and mood to a strong Stephen King novel. With plenty of intense situations, a blood inducing action, Island Zero stands out and rises above mere genre convention. As a plus, the strong cast, grounded writing and a piercing score contribute mightily in boosting the thrills and chills.” Rick Rice, mxdwn.com

“The film concentrates on the building up of the panic through the actor’s scenes, with a range of emotions given off. It manages to keep the story rolling along with good interplay and dialogue, some funny, some emotional, but all relevant to the story. When the gore does arrive, it’s all the more effective as it is not overdone and judiciously used.” Robert W. Monk, Flickering Myth

“Josh Gerritsen actually does a nice job at times conveying the mounting fear and claustrophobia of the islanders in their state of siege, but this is nothing like The Thing (either of them, the real ones). Unfortunately, the film always slavishly does what we expect it to do, even when it doesn’t make much sense.” Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins

“The thread of suspense that was prevalent throughout the fifty or so prior minutes proves easily undone by cringe-inducing silliness. The characters suddenly begin to act against type, the plot turns absolutely bonkers (one character communicates with the creatures through a computer), and the reveal of the creatures themselves, though mostly seen through the lens of an infrared camera, is laughable and quite disappointing.” Pop Horror

“At 99 minutes, it could use some trimming, and the wait proves to be a little too long given the payoff, where we’re not given nearly as good a look at the monsters as we previously have been at their leftovers. The effects coordinator and creature designer was Eric Anderson of an outfit called Shoggoth Assembly, and there is indeed a touch of Lovecraft to what we do see of them.” Michael Gingold, Rue Morgue

” …Josh and Tess Gerritsen have focused on building their atmosphere of dread rather than on bombastic, balls-out horror and spectacle, and this makes all the difference. While it has the vibe of an 80s Carpenter flick, it also manages to define its own personality, which makes it stand out from other mid-to-low budget fright flicks.” Ernesto Zelaya Miñano, Screen Anarchy

” …Gerritsen’s feature film debut is a smart story that wisely doesn’t try to overstretch itself by aimlessly stuffing their film with poor CGI and inane action, instead working with their constraints to a create more esoteric thriller. Ending on a stronger note than where it starts, Island Zero is one of those movies that certainly entertains…” David Duprey, That Moment In

” …a slow burn of a film. It keeps the menace off-screen for most of the film while it builds up suspense bit by bit until the final act. Then it unleashes a few twists along with its creatures for a suitably tense finale […] For those who don’t mind a lack of heavy gore and fancy effects Island Zero is an enjoyable watch.” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony

Main cast:

  • Laila Robins (Witchblade)
  • Adam Wade McLaughlin
  • Teri Reeves
  • Matthew Wilkas
  • Stephanie Atkinson
  • Joanna Clarke
  • Richard Sewell
  • Anabel Graetz
  • Paul Hodgson
  • Terry Bregy
  • Nancy Nickerson
  • Robin Jones
  • Joseph Klapatch
  • Elaine Landry
  • Anna Gravél

Filming locations:

Camden, Islesboro and Rockport, Maine, USA

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Categories: 2017, monster movie

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