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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Gripping Island Getaway

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Plot Overview

Daniel's accusers fed to lionsThe fictional island of La Tolqa in the Indian Ocean is poor, brutal & primitive. They routinely fleece tourists for needed revenue. Their laws based in part on their religion are strictly enforced. For murder—intentional or not—they speedily exact the death penalty … also for blasphemy, sodomy, and drugs, oh, my! A diplomatic compromise was reached to get more civilized nations to permit their tourists to come. For a fee the guilty can have a body-double stand in for his punishment, their human cloning being more advanced than that of Western science.

cop writing ticketDried up writer James Foster (Alexander Skarsgård) has come with Em his media mogul heiress wife (Cleopatra Coleman) to try to find inspiration. Instead he finds trouble with the law and is forced to watch his doppel­gänger's execution. Red tape delays his own departure when Em leaves, and he's then befriended by a coterie of sympathetic tourists who've gone through the same ordeal. Knowing there is no actual punishment for crime, they all proceed to do more mischief, including Jim in their recidivism, and so test the hospitality of the island to the edge of accommodation.


wild dogCapital punishment is indeed enjoined in Gen. 9:6, irrespective of the murderer's intent, but civilized nations have since set up distinctions in types of murder and consequences of same. La Tolqa, how­ever, is admittedly “primitive” and it shows. It's doubtful a libertine vacation there will be restful, and the plot bears that out according to, (Prov. 30:21-23) “For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat; For an odious woman when she is married; and an hand­maid that is heir to her mistress.” The dog when commanded to “fetch” turns instead on its master. Admittedly untalented James sponges off his wife. The footnote in my Jewish Study Bible enlightens us on the odious woman: “A loath­some woman, lit. ‘hated woman,’ has, (the author presumes) done some­thing deserving of disgust and is unworthy of marriage. ... The word for hated seems to mean ‘unloved’ or ‘dispreferred’.” It is developed that Em having “dad issues” married a disap­proved author and has trained her hubby to be weak. He hates it and doesn't want to go back home with her. Jim's new friends try to counter that by getting him to show some balls, to exercise dominance, like a baboon.

The ascent
of man

harlotThe couple's new friend Gabi Ballard (Mia Goth) offers to serve as their guide on an (illicit) excursion, and it is she, not Em, who scores an opportun­istic sexual encounter with Em's man.

Production Values

” (2023) was written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg (son of David Cronenberg.) It stars Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Goth, Thomas Kretsch­mann, Cleopatra Coleman, Amanda Brugel and Caroline Boulton. All the acting is quite good; Mia Goth is eminently suited to her femme fatale role. Alexander Skarsgård only lacks adequate material to show off his stuff; his character is but one dimensional.

clown maskMPAA rated it R for graphic violence, disturbing material, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and some language. It was originally rated NC–17 for “some graphic violence and sexual content” but was re-edited to receive an R rating on appeal. The native masks alone were enough to give one shivers.

fishesThe island scenery is outright depressing. Guests are restricted to a fenced-in compound called the strip. If they do get out, they're not allowed to rent a car—although autos are available on a black market. The coast road hugs a bleak land­scape. There is one show put on in the compound, of Indian dancing. It's nice but not worth the dime. One could almost wish for the rainy season to start already, just for a change.

It was filmed on location in Sibenik, Croatia. The cinematography was great, as are the camera angles and the intense background music. It has a runtime of 1 hour 57 minutes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

It passes muster as a horror flick but not for quaint island beauty. If you can't stand the wife and want to get away, this god-awful place will work as well as any. Even the happy ending is sad.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Unless otherwise noted, scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

The Jewish Study Bible: Tanakh. New York: Oxford University Press. New Jewish Publication Society 2nd ed. of 1999. Print.

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