ISLAND ZERO *** USA 2018 Dir: Josh Gerritsen. 99 mins
A remote fishing town on an island just off from Maine becomes cut off from the main land. Phone lines, internet and power is cut off and the ferry stops showing up. The islands inhabitants are already twitchy as their main source of income, fishing, has already been jeopardised. The fish have all disappeared and now the fisherman’s boats are being found adrift with no sign of human life just a lot of blood. Local marine biologist Sam (Adam Wade McLaughlin) slowly comes around to the theory that there may be a new marine apex predator causing all this disruption. Thinking they may have discovered a brand new species they soon realise that the military already have an interest and have deployed an undercover agent.
This monster movie with a bit of a twist is a really enjoyable watch. Set around Christmas time it has a hint of yuletide festivities about it with the opening titles being set to Silent Night. The cast are fantastic. Along with McLaughlin (Blue Bloods) it features Laila Robins (True Crime/The Boys) and Teri Reeves (Once Upon A Time/The Punisher) and is really well acted by all involved but the absolute best characters are the elderly couple Ruth and Alvis who are by far the most entertaining ( “you’re negotiating with a fish!??!!”). The other thing to point out is the sheer comedy value of the young girl Ellie’s haircut. She is definitely going to be regretting that wardrobe decision for the rest of her career. This is not a comedy but these couple of elements will make you smile.
Annoyingly this starts off quite slow and the monsters are quite badly computer generated axolotl/squid/cuttlefish type things which really don’t look great and you think for a marine predator they don’t half spend a lot of time on land. This part is haphazardly justified just as you’re starting to think it’s all getting a bit far fetched, also luckily you don’t see much of them. There is however a reasonably high body count with great practical effects and gory detail once things get going. It holds up well due to the proficient acting and practical effects which a lot of other low budget attempts often fail on so it is definitely one to add to your watch list.
Review by Sarah Budd