When it comes to horrors and shockers, Irish cinema has a lot of catching up to do. From our landscape and locations to legends and fables, horror is a genre that our filmmakers could do a lot with and, as 2004's 'Dead Meat' showed, do well. It would be wrong to be too hard on 'Isolation' as it has many things going for it, but also shows what we need to work on too.
When the bank starts asking all the hard questions, farmer Dan (John Lynch) is forced to get cosy with a nearby biotech company which offers him a lifeline if he'll let them do tests on his pregnant herd. It seems like easy money until the first cow is about to give birth and then Dan, his former flame and local vet Orla (Davis) and her boss John (Iures) discover that the project has gone, ahem, teats up. Very, very badly.
'The Riordans'-meets-'The Thing', 'Alien' with cows - when it comes to quick descriptions, 'Isolation' works a treat. But while writer-director O'Brien has come up with a great idea for a film - of the 'why didn't anyone do this sooner?!' variety' - what's onscreen fails to fulfil the plot's potential.
In terms of production design and cinematography, 'Isolation' holds it own with any horror with a few extra zeroes on the budget. The problems are that some of the dialogue is stilted and the scares are nothing that hasn't been done far better already. There are a few unintentionally funny lines here and chances are you'll remember them more than any of the mayhem.
That said, there's no doubting O'Brien is a talent - he just needs to watch where he's walking.