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Cinequest 24' "The Island Between Tides" - movie review

The Island Between Tides opening film CINEQUEST 24'

The film world has recently seen a surge in the popularity of dark fairytales, and amidst these, some delve into lesser-known stories from broader literary landscapes. One such narrative is that of Mary Rose, a tale emerging from the creator of Peter Pan, yet imbued with a darker and more mysterious essence. Austin Andrews and Andrew Holmes bring this haunting story to life in their film, "The Island Between Tides," which had its world premiere as the opening night film for Cinequest 2024. Starring Paloma Kwiatkowski and Donal Logue, the movie tells the enchanting story of a woman returning to an island where she mysteriously vanished as a child.

Much like the allure of stories involving pirates and seafarers enticed by sirens and mermaids, there's a captivating call or song that draws individuals to this mysterious island. Is it home, or is it evil? These are the intriguing dynamics that captivate the audience's attention throughout "The Island Between Tides," a film that weaves a haunting folklore with great intrigue and solid execution.

In our recent interview with filmmaker Austin Andrews (stay tuned for the release!), we shared how "The Island Between Tides" evokes a nostalgic return to childhood, where horror was more akin to "Goosebumps" than the intensity of "Sepultura." The film, shot against the breathtaking backdrop of Vancouver, B.C., benefits from the unfair advantage of having numerous beautiful locations to enhance its captivating narrative. As the story unfolds around Lily (Kwiatkowski), the film, admittedly, becomes somewhat predictable. However, the engaging factor rests largely on the capable shoulders of Paloma and Donal Logue, portraying her father, "Bruce," who consistently excels in any role he undertakes. While it may take a moment to acclimate to Paloma's quirks and mannerisms, they ultimately contribute well to the development of her character.

"The Island Between Tides" serves as a poignant reminder that some of the best supernatural stories originated as poems and plays shrouded in mystery. In a genre teeming with various adaptations, the film distinguishes itself by adhering closely to the original play, akin to "The Woman in Black" franchise. Andrews and Holmes keep the narrative tightly knit, making it a true homage to the source material. With its focus on family dynamics, the film is a strong and well-executed exploration of familial bonds, making it a fitting opener for Cinequest 2024.

Rating: 3.0/5

The Island Between Tides

Writer/Directors: Austin Andrews, Andrew Holmes

Cast: Paloma Kwiatkowski, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Adam Beach, Megan

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