Starring Nicolai Kornum, Emma Dark, Richard Markworth, John Whitaker, M. W. Daniels, Richard Markworth
Directed by Nicolai Kornum, Emma Dark, Richard Markworth, John Whitaker, M. W. Daniels, Richard Markworth
With the world now having come to a halt due to the outbreak of COVID-19, director Nicolai Kornum decided to do something productive during the quarantine period by joining forces with fellow horror filmmakers across the UK to create an effective new anthology film called The Isolation Horrors. With a runtime of twenty-five minutes, the anthology consists of Kornum, playing himself, contacting several of his friends in the horror community via Skype to check on them after he finds a bloody face mask in his driveway. After each Skype conversation, we are then treated to a series of brief horror shorts set inside the homes of the filmmakers, with the scenes in Kornum’s home acting as the bridge to link each of the segments.
Due to the social distancing measures in effect, each of the individual filmmakers created their own segments from their own homes, without anyone else being physically involved. The segments are far too short to allow for advanced character development, but they still manage to effectively pile on the scares within their limited runtimes. So although they may be brief, you won’t be forgetting these shorts in a hurry. Another strength of this anthology is that it also manages to tap into a very real fear by having the characters being menaced in their homes. Because there is nothing more unsettling than the idea of a horrific situation unfolding in the comfort of our own homes, where we are supposed to feel safe and secure.
Kornum starts off by talking to Emma Dark on Skype, which leads to Dark’s short film, Goryō. If you’re unfamiliar with that word, it refers to vengeful ghosts in Japanese folklore. Needless to say, this is a ghost story, and a damn creepy one. It begins with Dark reading a news report about the death of a famous Japanese pop star, whose spirit proceeds to cause strange things to happen in her home. If there’s anything we learned from this nightmarish short, it’s that if an unknown user sends you a mysterious video on messenger and warns you not to watch it, you probably shouldn’t watch it.
Next up was Across The Landing, which introduces us to Richard Markworth, who clearly does not respond well to being forced to self-quarantine. He slowly starts to lose his sanity as a result of the prolonged isolation, which leads him to take drastic measures when the woman in the apartment across the hall won’t stop singing and vacuuming. This short mainly consists of Markworth sitting in front of the camera, but he was able to make up for the lack of variety in the visual department with a fun performance as a deranged loner who just wants peace and quiet.
This was followed by Anomalous. Directed by John Whitaker and presented in black and white, this short involves Whitaker arriving home after buying an insane number of toilet rolls, one of which develop a mind of its own. Whitaker somehow found a way to scare the viewer using toilet paper, which could not have been an easy task to accomplish. You’ll just have to watch it for yourself to see how he turns such a mundane object into nightmare fuel.
Director M. W. Daniels then delivers a suspenseful tale called Ghosting Isolation, which is about a man who comes to realise that he may not be alone in his house, as one particular spirit has yet to move on from the physical world. This particular segment was just as sad as it was unsettling, which pretty much sums up the world today.
Lastly, we then cut back to Kornum’s home, where the bloody face mask he found in his driveway starts menacing him by trying to attach itself to his face. This was the most physically unsettling segment on display, so you’ll probably want to wash your hands after watching it.
There are bound to be a ton of other horror films about the current quarantine period, but Kornum and his colleagues were still able to come up with a unique spin on the concept which is bound to resonate strongly with viewers as we remain confined to our homes during these insane times. If you’re in the mood for a horror movie which tackles current events in an effective and suspenseful way, look no further than The Isolation Horrors.
The current state of the world has proved that reality truly is stranger than fiction, although The Isolation Horrors is an ominous and suspenseful anthology which manages to tackle current issues in a way which is bound to make viewers think twice before leaving home.