Monday, August 5, 2013

Fear Island (2009)

Number Rolled: 39
Movie Name/Year: Fear Island (2009)
Genre: Horror
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Michael Storey
Writer: Jack Harry, Jeff Martel
Actors: Aaron Ashmore, Haylie Duff, Lucy Hale, Kyle Schmid, Anne Marie DeLuise, Martin Cummins, Jacob Blair, Jessica Harmon, Jim Thorburn, Brenna O’Brien, Keith Martin Gordey, Patricia Harras, Rob Morton, Dax Belanger, Dana McLoughlin

Jenna is found on a nearly deserted island and arrested for the murder of the only six other inhabitants. As a police officer and a therapist question her about the events that took place, they come to realize that she is severely traumatized. The bits and pieces of her story come together as she remembers them, allowing the authorities to finally make out what happened.

“Fear Island” is a thriller masquerading as a horror. To look at this movie as a horror is almost a kind of insult to the genre. Not because the movie was particularly bad, but simply because it wasn’t frightening. Either the writers or the director were not very good at inducing suspense. When you take away the alleged horror components, you actually get a relatively decent mystery/thriller. I can understand why it would be categorized as a horror. Without the investigative twist that is woven through the movie, it would be a slasher/serial killer/teen horror, a bad one.

I found the actual set-up to be unique. If you were to take the movie as just a crime thriller or just a teen horror, it would be a bad incarnation of a recipe movie. Putting both sides together the way they did was brilliant. I spent the entire movie guessing and re-guessing and contemplating what they might be getting at – which is the whole point of adding that mystery component.

Kyle Schmid and Jacob Blair did absolutely nothing for this movie. Their performances were almost distractingly over-exaggerated and it made me really dislike whenever they were on screen. My favorite actors were Aaron Ashmore and Haylie Duff. I’m not that big a fan of Hillary Duff and I’m afraid I held Haylie to my opinion of her sister before this movie. Shameful, I know. This is just another case of me liking the underrated sibling more. It happens a lot.

Despite the creativity of the plot, I still found the movie lacking – until nearly the end. At that point, the mystery really started to show its twists and began to make me second guess a lot of my opinions. When it comes down to it “Fear Island” wasn’t spectacular but I’d watch it again.

Overall Opinion – 3/5

The Random Rating: PG-13 (for moderate blood/violence and sex references)

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