THE I-LAND is a new mystery sci-fi series on Netflix. A comparison to LOST is almost impossible, but this is something very different. Kate Bosworth, Alex Pettyfer and Natalie Martinez are part of the core cast.  Read our The I-Land Season 1 review here and check it out on Netflix!

THE I-LAND is a new Netflix series in the mystery, sci-fi, adventure, drama, thriller genres. Oh yes, this one covers a lot of genres, but the story itself also calls for it. As soon as you hear the plot, you can’t help but think of the iconic J.J. Abrams series Lost but the two are very different.

For one, I was immediately hooked on Lost while it took me a while to really get into the story in this new Netflix series. Probably because you don’t get much of an explanation until episode 3.

The two do however have most (if not all) of their genres in common. So if you enjoy these genres, you should certainly give this new show a chance.

Want to know if The I-Land is (or isn’t) worth your time? Check out the rest of our The I-Land Season 1 review which is based on the first three episodes.

Familiar faces in new Netflix series

The cast is full of familiar faces such as Kate Bosworth, Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four), Natalie Martinez (Under the Dome and Into the Dark) while also having a lot of newer actors onboard. 

Kate Bosworth has already done series such as The Art of More and SS-GB, and she did actually start out in the teen drama Young Americans back in 2000. Still, I tend to think of her as mostly a film actor (Before I Wake, Superman Returns) for some reason, but these days it all seems to blend together. For the record, I’m a big fan of this since I’ve always loved TV Series.

In this series, Kate Bosworth plays one of the least likable characters. From the very first scene and until halfway through the season anyway.

Most importantly, I think a lot of people will notice Natalie Martinez who I would say is the main protagonist and actual star of The I-Land. Her character is both likable and relatable while also having a wild temper. However, she’s a real fighter (both literally and psychologically). Natalie Martinez definitely shows off some skills that could lead to more action roles.

The I-Land: Season 1 – Review | Netflix

Well, that escalated quickly!

Before we’re halfway through episode 1 of The I-Land, people are already threatening each other and a rape attempt has happened. Overall, pretty much every character will have annoyed you at some point. I will say that there is a very obvious reason for this, which will be revealed later.

With just 7 episodes in season 1 of The I-Land, you can certainly get through the entire thing in a weekend. Whether or not you will want to is probably to be determined within the first episode or two – though if you make it to episode 3, you will know what’s actually going on. More on that in the next segment of this review, which does contain minor spoilers.

This new Netflix series does have a lot going for it, but at the same time, it feels like it’s trying to be something that it never truly manages to become.

The two writers behind The I-Land are Lucy Teitler who previously wrote an episode of Mr. Robot and Neil LaBute, who is also one of the directors for season 1. Neil LaBute has written for both feature films and TV series in the past. Perhaps most notably, he wrote and directed the 1997 movie In the Company of Men based on a play by himself.

Netflix series The I-Land explained (minor spoilers)

Most people will want The I-Land explained after the first episode or two. Mostly because you don’t get much of an explanation during these first two episodes. However, once we reach episode 3 of The I-Land you will get a lot of info. Then again, if you’ve watched the trailer, then you will already have this information.

Yes, the trailer for The I-Land on Netflix itself is full of spoilers.

Still, the first question most viewers have is obviously concerning what The I-Land actually is. By episode 3 it’s revealed to a very large degree. Until then, you will have no explanation as to what’s going on. Mostly, it’s like a sick game where all your choices have consequences – much like real life. Only without the whole “free will” element being available. 

I don’t want to spoil too much, but even the trailer tells you that the island (known as “I-Land”) isn’t an actual island as much as it’s a virtual reality type deal. Also, the ten people on the I-Land island are all prisoners forced to be part of a rehabilitation program.

And, just as we know it from movies like The Matrix, you will die in real life if you die in the simulation. So, you know, there’s that. You’re not really there, but your brain thinks you are.

The I-Land: Season 1 Explained | Netflix

Watch season 1 of The I-Land on Netflix now!

The release of The I-Land is perfect for those who love sci-fi mystery and would rather watch something new for Friday the 13th than a horror movie. That’s not really my way of thinking and I honestly don’t understand the release date. However, I do recognize that a lot of people like to spend their weekend bingewatching TV shows. 

The I-Land has three directors for the episodes in season one. Jonathan Scarfe directed half the episodes with Darnell Martin and Neil LaBute covering the last four. Previously, Jonathan Scarfe also directed seven episodes of the Van Helsing TV Series while Neil LaBute was attached to the same series, but as a writer. 

Darnell Martin is a very fascinating director. Her first feature film was in 1994 when she directed I Like It Like That which she also wrote. Since making that movie, she has been directing on some of the biggest (and best) TV series. We’re talking Oz and ER back in the last millenium.

More recently, she’s worked on horror series like The Walking Dead and Sleepy Hollow. She even directed two episodes of Lore which was based on a “true story” podcast of the same name. I’m not sure The I-Land will end up as one of her main credits for future reference, but I do believe it will find its core audience on Netflix.

Season 1 of The I-Land is out on Netflix worldwide from September 12, 2019.


Directors: Neil LaBute, Jonathan Scarfe, Darnell Martin
Stars: Kate Bosworth, Sibylla Deen, Kota Eberhardt, Gilles Geary, Natalie Martinez, Alex Pettyfer, Kyle Schmid, John Earl Jelks, Ronald Peet, Michelle Veintimilla, Sibylla Deen


When ten people wake up on a treacherous island with no memory of who they are or how they got there, they set off on a trek to try to get back home. They soon discover this world is not as it seems. Faced with the I-Land’s extreme psychological and physical challenges, they must rise to their better selves — or die as their worst ones.

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
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