Having read the book by Albert Sánchez Piñol years and years ago. You’d have thought that I’d need refreshing before watching this to remember what went on, but no. No way. The premise of the book, and the film, are quite simple, as is what happens throughout the story.
Friend (David Oakes) is transported to a small island to monitor the weather, replacing the incumbent weatherman, who is strangely missing. However, the only other person on this remote island, the lighthouse keeper Gruner (Ray Stevenson), is still there. And a bit off his rocker.
Once Friend is left on the island with supplies the real situation unfolds. Strange creatures emerge from the sea at night and begin to attack the shack that Friend is supposed to live in and the lighthouse (strongly fortified over time by Gruner). And with no chance of anyone coming to rescue until the next rotation it is up to these men to survive however they can.
The book of this film has remained with me for quite a while, and I always thought that it would make a decent film. And here it is, and is it? Overall it stays quite close to the original text from what I remember. Pretty twisted things happen, for twisted reasons, or actually pretty human reasons. For all the decent thriller in this it doesn’t quite explore the isolation quite well enough, or for long enough to make you feel that there isn’t any other option than the course that they are taking. That being said the tension does build quite well as you settle into the rise and fall of it.
Cold in name, this actually does leave you a little bit that way, never really connecting with the characters, or their plight or situation. That being said, it is always nice to see a book that you know adapted closely to the original text.