ISOLATED (2022) Reviews of mystery thriller

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‘Everyone has a breaking point’
Isolated is a 2022 American mystery thriller film in which a woman wakes up trapped inside a room with no memory of how she got there.

Directed by Tyler Lee Allen (Randomocity) from a screenplay written by Michael Ferree.

The Ultimedia-10 Ring Films production stars KateLynn E. Newberry (Dormant Evil; Widow’s Point; Devil’s Junction: Handy Dandy’s Revenge; The Curse of Lilith Ratchet; Berserkers aka Meltdown), Lanny Joon and David Solomon.

“The self-contained mystery/action thriller, similar in concept to Red Eye and Devil, tells of a woman that wakes up trapped inside of a room with no memory of who she is or how she got there. As she fights to find a way to escape, she ends up talking to a man in a room next to hers, that claims he, too, is trapped.

As she questions whether or not to trust this man, she starts to remember things from her past that lead her to question not only where she might be, but also what she might be.”

The tagline for Isolated is ‘Everyone has a breaking point’. For most viewers of the film, the breaking point will probably be about thirty minutes in. Perhaps a bit longer for those with more patience. Yet never as much as an hour.

Essentially, until the inevitable reveal/twist (c’mon we all know there has to be one), most of Isolated revolves around Nell (impressively acted by KateLynn E. Newberry who has to carry most of the movie herself), her efforts to understand why she’s been incarcerated, her disillusionment and her attempts to escape.

Unfortunately, there’s really not enough material here for a feature, especially one that runs an overlong hour and thirty-nine minutes. Deeply insightful dialogue such as: “God created man and man put us here. I guess that makes some kind of sense” doesn’t exactly add value to the supposed psychological distress on display.

Along the way, Isolated offers some solace for those with time on their hands via the increasingly desperate measures that Nell takes to destroy her cell.  However, an irritating character in the next cell named Travis (suggested drinking game: have a swig every time Nell says “Travis” to alleviate the tedium) hardly elevates the proceedings and neither does smug bearded Edgar who – and it’s hardly a spoiler – seems to be in control of matters.

Despite some florid camerawork to alleviate the oppressive cell claustrophobia and some carefully chosen close-up shots, the technical side of the film remains solid yet uninspired. The score by TJ Wilkins provides decent aural support but is mixed too low so that even potentially dramatic moments such as when Nell is tearing away at wires or grasping for the skylight have less effect than they could have.

From its uninspiring title to its painfully extended running time, Isolation is a frustrating non-event and there is nothing about the final reveal that means it’s worth sitting through just to get there and give a sigh.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

“This film is a claustrophobic one, keeping its characters confined for most of the movie. The footage outside the prison looks great as does the cell scenes, which says to me this team got the most out of its budget and delivered a movie that looks way better than what they spent.” B&S About Movies

Isolated never felt boring or claustrophobic, despite its story being limited mostly to one room. Credit scripter Michael Ferree for giving Nell enough busywork and discoveries in her cell to maintain our interest. Providing Nell with the foil of a mysterious voice in the neighboring cell (friend or foe?) was also a good choice.” Hollywood Investigator

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