Directed by Kim Ki-duk , starring Jung Suh, Yoosuk Kim and Sung-hee Park.
Anyone who fell under the gentle charms of director Kim Ki-duk's 'Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter...and Spring' earlier this year and hopes for more of the same here should bury that thought right now. When 'The Isle' was featured a number of years ago in the programme for the Dublin Film Festival, it carried the warning "this film will cause offence". Patience watching is a virtue, but a strong stomach is a necessity.
In a remote Korean fishing resort, Hee-Jin (Jung Suh) looks after residents with baits, food and whatever else takes their fancy. Deeply troubled, she falls for Hyun-Shik (Yoosuk Kim), a suicidal newcomer on the run from the police. And so begins an extreme relationship of obsession and murder.
'The Isle' is beautifully shot but you could spend large chunks of the film with your hands over your eyes. Cruelty to animals, knifings, incredibly grisly self-mutilation with hooks, they're all here in a story that really didn't need - pun intended - to push the boat out so far. Often painfully episodic, it's hard to relate to either of the main characters as their moments of tenderness are cancelled out by rage. By the end, you'll be either be too drained or too bored to care who does what to whom.
It's the safest of bets that this is one Asian film that won't get a Hollywood remake.