Isle of the Dead

Isle of the Dead ★★★½

Plague, pestilence and quarantine-filled melodrama with more than just a couple glaring parallel Covid-era coincidences:

-scrupulous hand washing (even in the first shot of the film!)

-contact-free doctor's orders

-science versus superstition dialouge; even the group's doctor "succumbs to the gods"

Wild cinematic proof that time is a flat circle.


Karloff rules the small group of potentially infected with an iron fist while assessing whether the plague or something more supernatural is affecting the fallen.

More of the traditionally gothic style of Lewton, more up my personal alley; with a lush and haunting score; a slow-burn pace and a heart-jumping final reel that's the stuff nightmares are made of. (Watching this with my headphones on really accentuated that last bit, lemme tell ya...)

Even if Robson's direction lags along in the middle third, the last ten minutes of this are choice.


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