Flotando, from Spain, is next up. A flat, featureless, and tiresome little insubstantial bubble of a thing and forgotten just after its telegraphed pop. Being stalked in space shouldn’t be this dull!
Penultimate in the Splendid Isolation is The Visitor – a Twilight Zone riff about a woman who is visited by a concentration camp prisoner in the middle of the night. It is cleverly written and contains some effective technical aspects and compact character development. It also has an interesting point to make about the development of prejudice over time and is the highlight of the collection. Moreover, The Visitor is shocking, provocative, and is effective in what it sets out to achieve.
Finally, Splendid Isolation programme heads back to Australia for Round Trip, the story of a police officer and his detainee who get lost in the outback and have to contend not only with one another and the harsh conditions, but also with the time-jumps that impact their predicament. While it does work somewhat as a palate-cleansing comedy, it’s characters are simplistic caricatures and the use of time isn’t as clever as it seems to think.
Splendid Isolation is a collection with high ideas that doesn’t succeed in achieving them. Those films that do work feel out of place when compared to the detritus they are surrounded by – and that detritus is not worth considering. For most of its run-time, it aims for tension and terror but, ultimately, is more likely to inspire boredom and bafflement.