Directed by Robert Heydon
In a story revolving around a young couple losing a baby, I would at the very least expect to see some pure heartfelt emotion, regardless of whether it is a horror or not. Instead I was presented with a meandering story, lacking any real passion from its actors and crafted by a seriously inept editor.
The team who put Isabelle together did a truly sloppy job. From criminally edited shots, soundtracks that awkwardly fade out and moments in the story that seem to hold importance, yet are fleetingly disregarded immediately with a jump cut. Every aspect of the film feels extremely rushed, as if they did not even watch it themselves before shipping it out. Even the small amount of CGI implemented was so bad; a child could have done it!
When it comes to the story, our lead Larissa (Amanda Crew) in the little despair she portrays, is being bothered by a supposed spirit. Though hearing babies crying and a pale girl appearing in her house doesn’t seem to bother her much, until all of a sudden it very quickly does and she can’t cope. Everything then seems to escalate far too quickly, with characters jumping to absurd conclusions that any real human wouldn’t ponder. Bring possession and religion into the equation by all means, but it seems a huge jump of logic. Even when they do consult a priest, everything seems very casual and not too different from their usual everyday dealings. A priest who quite literally looks like he has walked straight out of his audition, into his perfectly pressed costume.
Adam Brody plays Matt, Larissa’s compassionless husband who would much rather consult literally any other person to help his wife, than to just try to comfort her himself. He treats their relationship more like a father and child, telling her what to do, keeping his distance and creating an odd dynamic between them. Brody’s acting style is to just walk into a scene and let the words fall out of his mouth, rather than put any effort into what he is doing in the scene. Like when his wife is supposedly sleeping, yet he just walks into the room and starts reeling off his lines.
Isabelle (Zoë Belkin) the generic ghoul haunting our cast, is the same old girl with long black hair and a white dress gimmick. She is really not scary at all and an extremely boring antagonist. Standing in rooms then disappearing is her game, which only serves to anger Larissa rather than scare her, or sometimes even making her jealous if she gets anywhere near Matt. Her eventual motives are extremely weak, with an ending that may as well be the cursed ‘Then I woke Up’ routine.
My final qualm I have with this film is the use of guns. In one scene Larissa asks Matt to ‘take the gun’ when she thinks there is someone intruding. The calm and casual instruction, as well as the no problem approach Matt has to take the gun, made me feel extremely uneasy. Highlighting an extremely relaxed and disgusting approach to guns, which I hated.
ISABELLE will be available on Sky Store, iTunes and UK digital platforms from 30th September.