Director Robert Heydon’s horror-thriller Isabelle is set to be released later this month. Before its release, I had the opportunity to check it out. Here are my thoughts.
Warning: Mild spoilers ahead!
At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to the lovely couple Larissa , who is very pregnant, and Matt (Amanda Crew and Adam Brody). One afternoon as she’s fetching the mail she crumbles to the ground in pain. It is then revealed that she lost her baby and she herself was dead for a few moments before being saved.
As soon as the couple returns home Larissa is struck with depression and keeps hearing a baby crying. She notices that the next-door neighbor’s handicapped daughter watches her every move from an upstairs window. Things quickly snowball out of control from there into a supernatural battle for her life.
Crew did a great job of emoting the pain and confusion Larissa must have been experiencing. However, Adam Brody ‘s character, which he played well, seems bipolar, with near-constant conflicting emotions. He keeps his wife at arm’s length after she lost the baby. He’s dismissive, unsupportive, and a jerk, but in public, he acts as if he cares. It struck me as strange like the filmmaker couldn’t decide what kind of man the character should be.
If you’re looking for a scary movie, this isn’t it. Now, if you like psychological drama, it will keep you somewhat entertained. Isabelle is sad more than anything. What a woman (especially with an unsupportive husband) goes through when she delivers a full-term stillborn baby is terrible, you could describe it as soul-crushing.
My main issue with the special effects is the ghost in the film. Its glowing red eyes are more of a distraction than anything. I’m not sure how the eyes were executed, I’m guessing CGI, but they looked terrible. The rest of the ghost’s appearance looked good, though it mostly just sat looking out of a window.
.I won’t give away the ending, but I will say this, it makes little sense. I couldn’t tell exactly what they were going for. Maybe the filmmakers were insinuating that the entire movie took place while Larrissa was dead? If so, it was poorly executed. It feels as if an entire scene is missing. What the ending meant should have been made more clear. In fact, it felt so odd that it basically ruined the entire movie for me.
Isabelle wasn’t a bad movie, with a little more work it could have been a great movie, the potential was there. Sadly, it missed the mark. The film’s problems come down to three things, Brody’s character, the ghost, and the ending. That’s why I’m giving Isabelle any more than a 2 out of 5.
Isabelle will be available on Sky Store, iTunes and UK digital platforms beginning September 30th from Kew Media and Vertical Entertainment.