ISOLANI is a very creepy and intense thriller-drama from Scotland. It premiered at film festivals back in 2017 and now it’s finally out for everyone to see. It features one of the toughest mothers ever, which is more than enough reason to watch it. Read our full Isolani review here!

ISOLANI is a new thriller-drama from Scotland that isn’t actually new at all. It’s one of those films that received amazing reviews after film festival screenings but never managed to get a distribution deal. Until now!

It’s probably due to it being labeled a “drama” which says nothing about what this actually is. Because really, this is a very creepy and intense thriller as much as a drama full of social realism and struggles. The movie is from Scotland, so the accent might take a bit getting used to but the feelings come across perfectly.

Continue reading our Isolani review below.

Kate McLaughlin is absolutely perfect!

Honestly, you should watch Isolani specifically for Kate McLaughlin’s portrayal of Isla. She is one of the toughest mothers ever seen on screen.

Especially because she looks like she’s 12 years old, which people also note, but when she speaks, it’s with the conviction and power of someone who will not back down. She is, in fact, a 17-year-old girl with a young son (she had him when she was 13). What’s amazing about her is the fact that she knows her rights and she will fight to keep her son safe. Whatever it takes!

When she witnesses a murder outside her apartment-building (which should be vacated since it’s condemned), she knows she’s in trouble. More importantly, her son is in danger.

However, Isla isn’t one to take on any challenges by backing down. Instead, she is always a few steps ahead of everyone around her.

Kate McLaughlin is absolutely perfect as Isla. I cannot imagine anyone else being able to both physically and emotionally equal her performance in this. It’s not an easy role to play and she goes above and beyond with everything!

Isolani – Movie Review

Watch Isolani on VOD now!

Isolani was written and directed by R. Paul Wilson. This is only his second feature film after Con Men from 2015, which was a crime-mystery. I haven’t watched that but after having watched Isolani, I certainly am curious.

I do have to mention one drawback for Isolani and it’s the runtime. It does run around 15 minutes too long, in my opinion. With a tighter pace and story, it would have been a stronger story overall. Though, admittedly, the pace is also part of its strength since it forces you to really sit with and absorb the grisly world the characters live in.

For me, Isolani works because the characters are well-written and very well portrayed. That goes for all of them, though I have absolutely singled out Kat McLaughlin since she is the shining star of this movie. I do also have to mention Gregor Selkirk.

He has a small role, but his performance will stick with you since it’s absolutely heartbreaking. Gregor Selkirk has a huge career ahead of him if acting is what he wants. Since Isolani, he has also had a much larger role in the movie Tell It to the Bees (2018). In this movie, his one scene is one of the strongest of the movie for me in terms of realism and pain.

Isolani is out On-demand and Digital from May 26, 2020. 


Director: R. Paul Wilson
Writer: R. Paul Wilson
Stars: Kate McLaughlin, Catriona Evans, Jim Sweeney, Gianni Capaldi


When seventeen years old single mother, Isla Corrie witnesses the murder of a police informant she becomes a pawn in a dangerous game of lies, betrayal and deception. Manipulated by an ambitious prosecutor and a corrupt police detective, Isla must find a way to protect her son before the killer realises there’s a new witness. When prosecutor Anne Ramsay employs her late father’s best friend, Detective Brian Ross to convince Isla to give evidence, Ramsay is unaware that Ross is secretly partnered with the murderer; violent drug-dealer Tom McKray. Ross tries to force Isla to help deceive Ramsay but when Isla refuses to identify McKray, Ross is forced to take violent action. Threatened on all sides, young Isla hatches a simple but ingenious plan to outwit an ambitious prosecutor, expose a corrupt detective and convict a desperate killer.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard