The Isle

Watch The Isle

"A beautiful yet dangerous place..."
  • NR
  • 2000
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 6.9  (14,622)
  • 61

The Isle is a South Korean film released in the year 2000, directed by Kim Ki-duk. This movie is a truly unique experience, an atmospheric and haunting work of art filled with symbolism and unforgettable visuals. The story takes place on a secluded lake, where a small fishing resort is run by an enigmatic woman who provides her guests with more than just fish. She has a fleet of boats that takes visitors out to rent rafts - and occasionally, she also provides them with women to have sex with.

The first twenty minutes of the film are almost entirely dialogue-free, providing us with a real taste of the ethereal beauty of the isolated lake. A group of fishermen arrives, each with their own hidden motivations - some come just to fish, some for the sex. One of the fishermen, Hyun-shik, immediately takes a liking to the beautiful, mysterious Hee-jin, one of the women put at his disposal.

As the days pass, strange things start to happen on the lake: boats drift aimlessly, fish start to die, and slowly but surely, the guests begin to disappear. Meanwhile, a mute factory worker named Hee-jin has started to form a bond with Hyun-shik, despite not being able to speak. However, the depth of her obsession with him becomes more and more alarming as the movie progresses.

The Isle is a deeply unsettling and disturbing film, as the two main characters struggle to come to terms with their inner demons. There is little dialogue, so the movie relies on the fabulously rich, surreal visuals to create and maintain the eerie and tense atmosphere. The highly inventive and unconventionally beautiful cinematography is a visual feast for the eyes, drawing the viewer into the murky waters of the lake with alluring grace.

The Isle features frequent graphic scenes of violence, with a fair amount of blood and gore involved, however, the director's vision is such that none of it seems gratuitous or misplaced. Kim has a gift for revealing beautiful moments in ugliness and vice versa. It is a movie that demands to be seen more than once - it's filled with small details that might be missed on the first viewing.

The Isle is a film about the deep-seated and hidden desires of the characters, the fishing resort acting as a microcosm for society. The transcendental experience of being at one with nature, having to catch and kill our own food, ends up triggering impulses that we might not otherwise ever confront. With virtually no exposition or backstory, everything is left up to the viewer's imagination, which is key to the film's effectiveness - it allows the audience to piece together the story however they feel fit.

The Isle is a cinematic masterwork that has stood the test of time as a triumph of the horror-thriller genre. Its enchanting, alluring nature and the constant surrealist atmosphere build up a foreboding presence that is hard to shake off. The female lead, Hee-jin, manages to steal the show with her angelic beauty and enigmatic, enigmatic persona which carries the entire movie. Her unspoken attraction to Hyun-shik is one of the strongest aspects of the film. The story has a haunting quality and the ending leaves the viewer thoroughly questioning everything they thought they knew.

In short, The Isle is unlike any other horror-thriller films or movies dealing with mental health - a bizarre cinematic journey, a hard pill to swallow, but an epic piece of art that deserves to be part of every serious film buff's collection.

The Isle is a 2000 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9 and a MetaScore of 61.

The Isle
Where to Watch The Isle
The Isle is available to watch free on Plex. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, FlixFling, Amazon and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent The Isle for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (14,622)
  • Metascore