Newest Review: ... watch it yourself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Fear Island is told in flashback format when Megan, the only person left ... more
Someone's out for revenge!
Fear Island (DVD)
Member Name: GentleGenius
Fear Island (DVD)
Advantages: Quite exciting to watch in parts, some nicely sinister touches
Disadvantages: Predictable, contrived, the music is too loud
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 92 mins
DIRECTOR: Michael Storey
PRODUCERS: David Doerksen & Jim O'Grady
SCREENPLAY: Jeff Martel
MUSIC: John Sereda & Paul Michael Thomas
Haylie Duff as Megan
Lucy Hale as Jenna
Kyle Schmid as Tyler
Aaron Ashmore as Mark
Jessica Harmon as Ashley
Jim Thorburn as Keith
Jacob Blair as Kyle
Brenna O'Brien as Regina
FILM ONLY REVIEW
A group of students decide to get together for a long weekend after close of college, before all going their separate ways in life. They go to a picturesque island location, which has been a regular local haunt for them when they want to get away from it all.
Once installed on the island, strange things start to happen almost immediately and it becomes apparent that the lives of at least some of those present could be in danger.
As the death rate starts to mount - with each victim being bumped off in strange circumstances - and cryptic messages are scrawled, graffiti-style, close to every scene, a few stories and secrets begin to unfold that could lead to unravelling the mystery of who the murderer is.
That loosely sets the scene....to learn more, you must watch it yourself.
Fear Island is told in flashback format when Megan, the only person left alive, manages to escape from the island and is under arrest, being held at a police station and subjected to some quite harsh questioning by an arrogant, stroppy cop. To try and calm things down, a female police psychologist joins the questioning sessions, and the story of what happened on the island unfolds (via flashbacks) as the interrogation of Megan continues.
This is one of many films over the past ten or so years which sets a scene of a few teens gathered together in an isolated place where things begin to go wrong. The characterisation of each member of the teen group is pretty typical - we have a couple undergoing romantic problems, a nice guy, a not so nice guy, a sweet little girl type....and once the booze starts to flow, little arguments arise. That storyline setting is very unoriginal, having been done countless times before, although in this instance, I feel that the mystery buildup levels are more skilfully presented than in most other films of this ilk that I've seen, particularly in the early part of the film.
As far as the acting is concerned, nobody stands out above anybody else. Everyone plays their parts adequately, but some of the diction is unclear - as is often the case with American films - and the rather pounding, drastic music doen't serve to enhance the spoken dialogue.
I did quite like the flashback syndrome and it was presented in a clear way which doesn't confuse the issue at all. Sometimes films which tell their story in hindsight can befuddle my brain, but this one didn't.
For me, the early part of Fear Island is the best. There is a nicely sinister streak present which reminded me a little of some episodes of The Avengers from the 1960s, but as the film progresses, it becomes a little too contrived and predictable.
If I hadn't seen other films which are very similar to this, then I wouldn't have guessed the final twist, but due to the lack of originality and having seen other films which close in pretty much the same way, the ending came as no surprise to me, thus leaving me with a bit of a washout feeling.
Some rather gruesome and violent murders take place, but they are presented in a surprisingly non-gory way, rendering this a more or less 'safe' film for people to watch who are upset by explicit slasher-type scenes.
There is no doubt that Fear Island is very entertaining and well done in parts, especially the first half or so of the film, but I can't see me watching it again. I did quite enjoy it, but the lacklustre and unoriginality contained from about the halfway point onwards somewhat mars the overall effect and turns what could be a brilliant mystery/thriller into a feast of borderline mediocrity - which is a shame, because from the outset, all the hallmarks for a first-class film are there.
Overall, I believe quite a lot of people would enjoy Fear Island if they haven't seen the other films which contain a very similar storyline with an almost identical outcome, but it isn't a production which will go down in cinematic history as an all-time classic. I'd like to see a re-make in say ten or so years' time, incorporating a completely different and unexpected ending.
At the time of writing, Fear Island can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from £2.16 to £19.99
Used: from £2.04 to £11.67
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
Summary: OK and watchable, but nothing special