I am a fan of possession and evil entity films, so I was excited to have the opportunity to view the film, Isabelle (2018), for the 2018 Blood in the Snow Film Festival. There is just something about the possibility that this could actually happen that intrigues me. How does this film hold up in that sub horror genre? Read on to find out!
A young couple’s dream of starting a family shatters as they descend into the depths of paranoia and must struggle to survive an evil presence that wants nothing more than their very own lives.
Directed by Robert Heydon (Ecstacy 2011), Isabelle stars Amanda Crew (Final Destination 3) and Adam Brody (Jennifer’s Body) as Larissa and Matt Kane, a young married couple expecting their first child. The couple moves into a new house with an odd neighbor Ann Pelway (Sheila McCarthy: The Day After Tomorrow) and her daughter, Isabelle (Zoe Belkin: Carrie 2013), who just creepily stares out the window. This, of course, makes Larissa anxious. The couple is uneasy about becoming parents, but excited nonetheless. One day after talking with Ann at her mailbox, Larissa has a severe complication in her pregnancy and is rushed to the ER, where she is saved but the child does not survive. The nurse warns Matt that his wife was clinically dead for a minute and there may be some residual effects to this. From this point, we follow Larissa’s grief and the darkness, evil and truth about Ann and Isabelle.
My main complaint about Isabelle would be the length. The film could have been a tad longer to develop all the subplots that were going on in this film. It felt rushed and needed more development. The film is predictable to a point. although that isn’t a bad thing. The filmmakers do try to bring something different to table with the ending. However, the final product doesn’t offer anything new to the subgenre.
The performances are solid. Sheila McCarthy channeled her inner Margaret White (Piper Laurie: Carrie 1976) to play Ann. Larissa and Matt’s relationship was believable, including the uneasiness of first time parents and their grief stricken moments. The best part of the film is Zoë Belkin, and I would have liked to seen more of her in this film.
All in all, I enjoyed Isabelle, although it will only be a one time watch for me. It could have been longer, more developed and offered something different to the subgenre. However, the performances, including Zoë Belkin, are worth a watch.