Isolation (DVD Review)

After being exposed to an unknown disease, a medical student (Eva Amurri, “Californication,” Saved!) awakens in a hospital isolation room, desperately ill and imprisoned by a sadistic doctor (David Harbour, (The Green Hornet, Quantum of Solace) in Isolation, arriving this October from Entertainment One.  Stephen Kay (Boogeyman, Cell 213, Get Carter) directs this edge-of-your-seat horror film also starring Joshua Close (Exorcism of Emily Rose, Diary of the Dead) and Gregg Henry (United 93, Black Dahlia).



Having recently spent time in the hospital with a bunch of doctors trying to diagnose a headache they thought was possible meningitis, the first part of this movie makes me thing that Isolation was a true story based on my life.  I can tell you that it’s not fun to be stuck in a hospital with a bunch of doctors running tests, unable to determine what’s wrong with you.  In my case, I went home before the crazy serial killer doctor decided to make me his pet project.  I had to laugh and wonder why I requested this movie and if I knew what it was about when I asked for it.

Amy Moore (Eva Amurri) is a medical student who awakens in an isolation room.  She is definitely ill, but does not know what is wrong with her.  She doesn’t know how long she’s been there and is very confused.  At first she is annoyed that the doctor’s have no answers for her and she can’t get any relief from her symptoms.  Later she begins to realize that she has bigger issues to worry about and the doctor that is supposed to be helping her (David Barbour) may have sinister motives and Amy soon wonders if anyone in the hospital is trying to help her at all.

Directed by Stephen Kay (Boogeyman, Cell 213, Get Carter), Isolation is a psychological thriller that takes place in one room for most of the movie.  You would think that would make for a boring film, but the intensity of Amy’s situation grows and the film’s running time of 90 minutes flies by.

The photos on the box made me a little wary.  After seeing the movie, I realize that there weren’t many still shots they could have chosen that really would have made sense taken out of context.  The DVD box couldn’t have been all images of Amy in her hospital bed but the box makes the movie look gorier and cheesier than it actually is.


Isolation is presented in widescreen 16×9 1.78:1 ratio.  There is definitely nothing spectacular about the DVD’s video quality.  There was a significant bit of noise visible against the lighter backdrops, specifically noticeable at the beginning but as the movie went on I began to embrace the grainy nature of the film and it was part of its charm.  While most of the movie took place in one location – Amy’s hospital room behind plastic isolation, it is not the only location and all were clear and visible, including the underground scene at the end.


Isolation is presented in 5.1 Surround Sound.  Again, this DVD offers nothing spectacular.  While the dialogue is clear and intelligible throughout, this is not the disc you would put in to test your surround sound.  There were few instances to feel surrounded by the surround sound….but as with all thrillers and horror flicks I always listen for a good blood curdling scream to make the hair on the back of my neck stand up and the surround sound did not provide that effect with Isolation.

Special Features

There are no special features on the Isolation DVD.

Final Thoughts  

Isolation was a pleasant surprise.  It is a very simple movie – the kind of movie that shows that you don’t need a huge budget to make a good thriller.  All you need is a clever idea.  I always like the movies where your past comes back to bite you (like the Saw films – well the early Saw films when they were still good).  Without a big special effects budget you can make quite an impact and one of the scenes from this movie that did that was when the doctor dragged the drugged Amy down the stairs.  She was stiff and convincingly drugged and I wonder if they had to do that scene more than once or if they got it perfectly on the first try.  It’s a shame this one didn’t come with any features, and the lack of features certainly brought down the overall numbers for a very solid three star thriller.

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