ISABELLE (2018)

Isabelle poster

A successful young couple with a new house and a new child on the way. A creepy neighbor with an even creepier daughter. Tragedy and strange, possibly paranormal events, Welcome to the world of Isabelle.

Matt (Adam Brody, Shazam, Yoga Hosers) is a lawyer whose career is on the rise. He and very pregnant wife Larissa (Amanda Crew, The Haunting in Connecticut, Tone-Deaf ) have just bought a house. However, things take a turn for the worse when Larissa introduces herself to their neighbor Ann (Sheila McCarthy, Antiviral, The Day After Tomorrow), a sinister-looking woman dressed entirely in black. As her equally unsettling looking daughter Isabelle (Zoë Belkin, Carrie) stares from her bedroom window, Larissa collapses in pain, bleeding through her jeans.

She comes to in the hospital, the doctors saved her though she flatlined for a minute. The baby wasn’t so lucky. Once she’s back home Larissa’s mental state begins to, understandably, fall apart. She starts showing signs of depression and suicidal thoughts. She also begins having hallucinations of a crying baby in what have been the nursery. These quickly escalate until she’s convinced an evil entity is after her. One connected to Isabelle.

This is only the second film Robert Heydon has directed however that’s counteracted by writer Donald Martin who has over 50 credits, many of them for TV movies. And that is what Isabelle feels like, a basic cable TV movie. It’s got a female-centric cast and plot, hits several hot topics and never strays from a by the numbers. It also never manages to be very scary or suspenseful.

A large part of the problem with Isabelle is that the script spreads itself so thin. The film runs 80 minutes but pulls in subplots about mental illness in Larissa’s family, marital issues between her and Matt, Isabelle’s health issues, etc. There are so many story threads stuffed into the film none of them get developed. Everything just floats around, with nothing becoming compelling. We get Isabelle popping up looking like Samara to provide some jump scares, but that’s it.

Isabelle is available on VOD from Vertical Entertainment. It’s nothing special, but it is better than Demon Eye from the same distributor.

Jim Morazzini

Movie buff, gym rat and crazy cat guy

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