Directed by Josh Gerritsen and starring Laila Robins, Adam Wade McLaughlin, Terri Reeves, Matthew Wilkas, and Elaine Landry. Island Zero starts off so well, its premise is sound and it builds mystery and tension nicely before dropping the ball…hard.
A straight-forward story sees a remote island off the coast of Maine, USA suddenly cut off from the mainland. Communications fail and the ferry hasn’t come, anyone that tries to leave on a boat doesn’t come back.
All very spooky and mysterious but the horror of the situation increases when people on the island begin to disappear too. Something is hunting them and now the survivors are going to have to work together if they hope to survive.
While the arch of the story focuses on the island as a whole, the depth comes from Sam (Adam Wade McLaughlin). He is a marine biologist who sees similarities between this and something that occurred further north a few years prior.
To begin with Island Zero is excellently paced. The story builds, introducing characters bit by bit and letting us get to know them. Decent acting helps heighten the tension with some of the highlights coming when the islanders start to panic about their dwindling supplies.
With a good amount of focus on the location, Island Zero is able to eek out a few decent scares while still building atmosphere. As viewers we are aware that there is something out there way before the islanders are but what it is, is something even we don’t know.
Unfortunately, its eventual payoff is very disappointing.
When things do eventually come to the boil, it all ends up coming across a bit silly. While credit can be given for the attempt to hide its low-budget nature, it is glaringly obvious by the end.
It’s not about the destination but the journey, right? Well if that was the case then Island Zero would be receiving much higher praise. Unfortunately its inevitable loss of focus and poor explanation leave way more of an impression then the smarter, tension built stuff by time the credits roll. Not to take away from the good, it’s like going up and up on a roller-coaster only to get to the top and find out that was the ride.