Still new in the trenches, director Michael Storey brings us an unimaginative but moderately enjoyable thriller which makes you wonder if he shouldn’t have stuck to cinematography.
Plot: 5 Friends head off to a beautiful, secluded island for one last big party before parting ways. When their past comes back to haunt them what is meant to be a holiday to remember soon turns into a nightmare filled fight for survival.
Director: Michael Storey
Cast: Haylie Duff, Aaron Ashmore, Lucy Hale, Kyle Schim
Age Restriction: 16 – Violence, Language
(Review by Elisma Johl)
Fear Island starts off much like the movie ‘The Hole’, and few other thrillers, in that the only survivor (yes, they actually tell you she’s the only survivor right from the get go so you have absolutely no doubt as to what’s going to happen with the others) gets picked up by the police and is thoroughly questioned, not as a victim but as a suspect. Haylie (the other) Duff plays the role of Jenna the survivor, who (of course) suffers from amnesia. Through a series of questioning she slowly remembers what happened on the island as she tells her story to the police. Unfortunately, she has been so mightily “Disneyfied” that you can never really take her seriously.
A group of friends set out for a big party on a private island. On the very first day eerie things start to happen. Day two commences with a series of killings, clues and horrific discoveries. Of course their boat disappears as soon as they find the first corpse (who didn’t see that coming?) and they have no way of getting off the island or calling for outside help. One by one the group gets picked off and with each death a little more of the past is revealed. As the story unfolds both the audience and the psychiatrist starts to realise that not everything adds up.
The good psychiatrist/bad cop routine also detracts from the suspense of the movie. Had they stuck to the island they might’ve gotten a higher rating.
I have to mention that the character arches throughout the movie seem a little unnatural and forced. The actors tried their best and actually do a sterling job considering what they had to work with. Nevertheless, in the end it all falls a little flat.
The plot and inevitable outcome is given away by amateur director/writer mistakes – so you’re never really wondering what is going to happen next. The movie does have a few twists but none of the variety that will leave you feeling like you just experienced something fresh and interesting.
If you like this genre, and want to see what happens when it is done right, I highly recommend watching the Harper’s Island TV Series. Heaven knows Michael Storey might’ve picked up a few tricks had he done so.
The only upside is that there is a bit of mystery surrounding the murders. Thankfully audiences are kept in the dark right up until the end. However, if it’s the action you’re after you’re in for a disappointment as the killings are never on camera.
Although Fear Island doesn’t offer much suspense, it remains entertaining and watchable.