150 some odd years ago, a man of the cloth with serious delusions of grandeur goes and gets himself killed by those he attempted to rule over on Elder Island. Well wouldn’t you know it, as a film crew arrives at the eponymous island to shoot a doco on the legend of the petulant preacher, the main man himself returns from the great beyond to exact revenge on the descendants of those that did him in like a faith based Freddy Krueger. What follows is a kaleidoscopic dervish of food ordering, a smattering of nudity, mild gore, and one-dimensional boring characters meeting their demise.
Now as you may surmise from that less than stellar description above, Elder Island doesn’t exactly set the horror biz alight with it’s trailblazing originality, but it does however get a few things right. First of all, there is some really nice cinematography in this pic (but this statement is a bit troublesome as I will explain below) and it really captures the isolated and cold atmosphere of the locale. Additionally, The Reverend is a unique slasher villain, at least in look if not motivation, and his history adds a nice bit of world building to the whole affair.
Now on to the “not so good” portion of our show. Take a look at that paragraph above…the first thing positive I can say about this stalk n’ slash flick is that the cinematography was good…not that it featured gobs of ghoulish gore, not that it featured a bevy of bouncin’ breasts…nope, all I could muster was; it looks good. Yeah, for a genre that is known for boobs, blood, and bad guys; this one is a tad lacking. Also , some of the audio in this picture is preposterous, with dialog being drowned out by the score (which by the way is really bad as well) and levels changing from scene to scene. Another issue is the amount of filler among the killer, at an hour and twenty minutes this thing should breeze right on by, but it doesn’t as there are endless scenes of folks doing F-all (hence my mentioning of food ordering at the top of this revoltin’ review). Finally, many of the actors are akin to slabs of wood that just so happen to have been inexplicably tasked with delivering dialog (with the main exception being Timothy Patrick Quill as Sheriff Ree…that dude was top shelf in being over-the-top…which a picture like this needs).
All of that being said; I truly believe the film makers behind Elder Island had their hearts in the right place, and it’s obvious they are huge fans of the golden age of the slasher flick, and all that entails, so that earns them points with your’s cruelly. Look, if you dig on flicks of this ilk, you will more than likely enjoy this light weight entry in the genre; people die, people get naked, and the killer is at least something we haven’t seen a million times before, just don’t go in expecting a new classic that will become a go to watch in years to come.