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Self Isolated Review

February 13, 2024 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Self Isolated Image Credit: Full Auto Films
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Self Isolated Review  

Self Isolated Review

Chad Ridgely– David
Maggi Mayfield– Susan
Doug Burch– Walter
Rachel Alig– Dr. Emily Fields
Joan Reagan– Stella

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by Chad Ridgely
Screenplay by Chad Ridgely

Distributed by ITN Distribution

Not Rated
Runtime– 83 minutes

Image Credit: Full Auto Films

Self Isolated, written and directed by and featuring Chad Ridgely and currently available to rent and buy on Amazon and is streaming for free on the Roku Channel, a slow burn horror thriller about a woman that wakes up one morning and finds herself seemingly alone in the world. Where is everyone? Where is her husband? And what has happened to the world around her? Through a series of flashback memories, the woman starts to piece together what’s really going on. And while all of that is happening, the woman also has to deal with a potentially dangerous outside force. It’s a fascinating movie because you’re never quite sure if you should trust the woman’s memories or what seems to be happening to her in the “real” world. Because, ultimately, is anything the woman experiencing actually happening, or is there something else going on?

Self Isolated stars Maggi Mayfield as Susan, a woman who wakes up one morning and finds herself completely alone in her apartment. Susan is hooked up to various medical equipment as she’s recovering from a medical procedure that apparently put her in a sort of coma. Disoriented, she gets up out of bed, only to fall when she realizes she’s still attached to a catheter and urine jug. While trying to get herself together (and before she removes the catheter herself. Ouch), Susan starts to dream about her husband David (Chad Ridgely) and the time he took her to their secret place at the beach. Susan then starts to experience a persistent bloody nose and the need to throw up (she has to run to the toilet to hurl several times). She walks around her apartment and confirms that’s she alone, and is then startled by a hooded man stealing bottled water. Who was that?

So then some stuff happens, Susan walks to the apartment complex’s parking garage, she’s startled again by the hooded man, and she runs back to her apartment and grabs a baseball bat. The hooded man tries to get inside but he gives up after a few minutes. Susan then has another nosebleed. After a while, Susan starts watching old videos that her husband made of them together, and she starts to remember those days from the videos. Where did David go?

It’s at this point that Susan meets Walter (Doug Burch), a guy she’s never met but claims that he’s her neighbor (he claims to be the husband of Stella, an old woman that Susan knows played by Joan Reagan). Walter tells Susan about the packages piling up outside of her front door and then asks if she has any extra toilet paper she can give him (the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has caused, among other general household supply issues, a toilet paper shortage). Susan doesn’t have any spare toilet paper but she tries to remain friendly with Walter (she clearly doesn’t trust him but she’s still trying to figure out what the heck is going on).

And so the rest of the movie is Susan trying to figure out what’s really going on (where’s David? Why does the power keep flickering off and on at random times? Just who the hell is this Walter guy?) while also experiencing both memories and flashbacks of David and their life together and what happened before she fell into a coma and these weird as hell dreams where she finds herself laying on a hospital gurney that seems to be dead center in an endless white void. Is anything she’s experiencing real?

I don’t want to say anything more specific about the plot as the movie does contain several interesting surprises, especially when it comes to who Walter actually is. The last half hour or so of the movie is filled with tension and suspense that will definitely make you anxious because, again, that question of what is and isn’t real hangs over everything. Is Susan really in danger or is something else going on? Just what the heck is the deal with that endless white void? The movie’s resolution may prove to be divisive, mostly because the concept of a movie really being a metaphor for something else can annoy some people. I liked the ending because I think you can look at it a number of different ways. It might be what it seems to be and it’s a positive ending, and there’s a chance that the ending is actually more sinister and filled with a kind of doom that you just don’t expect to experience.

There are times where the movie seems to drag a bit, but that’s mostly due to you wanting to know what the heck is going on. Director Ridgely clearly wants to fill you with as much dread and angst as possible, and since you’re so invested in Susan and what she seems to be experiencing you’ll keep watching. It’s always fantastic when a horror thriller makes you want to keep watching to find out what’s going to happen next. Just what the heck is really going on here?

You start to wonder why there are cars everywhere, especially in Susan’s apartment complex parking garage, but no one else is out and about. Yes, even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic why are there no other signs of life besides Susan and Walter? Life was annoying and, to a degree, lonely, but life did go on. So where is everyone? The whole thing will creep you out.

Maggi Mayfield is amazing as Susan. She’s in just about every scene in the movie and goes through so much, both physically and emotionally, that you can’t help but root for her throughout the movie’s lean 80 minute running time. Because what the heck is happening to her? Why is she alone? Why is she hooked up to all of that medical equipment? Why was she in a coma? Where is her husband David? Why does it seem like she’s completely alone in the world? And who is this Walter person and why does it seem like he’s the only other person in the world? You experience what Susan experiences at roughly the same time, both the highs and the lows. Mayfield gives as close to a perfect performance as one can in a horror thriller like Self Isolated.

Ridgely’s performance as David is generally charming and, at times, kind of unnerving. David clearly loves Susan and will do anything for her, but with the way the movie refuses to say what is and isn’t real you’re never quite sure if you should take David’s devotion at face value. There are times where David laughs and jokes around with Susan in Susan’s dreams and you’re sort of waiting for the mood of the movie to suddenly change and reveal something sinister about David. And then you start to wonder if David is even real at all and if it’s possible he’s just a figment of Susan’s imagination. Great stuff.

And then there’s Doug Burch as Walter. My God Walter is a weirdo, and that’s before you know what he’s really all about. There’s never any doubt that Walter is “real,” or at least someone Susan is actually dealing with throughout the course of the movie. Burch does a great job having Walter skeeve you out when you’re not entirely sure if you should be skeeved out. And why the heck is he the only other person we see in the world?

Self Isolated is a terrific slow burn horror thriller, something that you should absolutely see. It’s well-made, superbly acted, and expertly directed. And, above all else, Self Isolated will creep you out and freak you out. It’s what happened to me.

See Self Isolated. See it, see it, see it! Self Isolated is currently available to rent and buy on Amazon and is streaming for free on the Roku Channel.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 3

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: A TV news report, multiple medical devices and machines, pictures everywhere, conspiracy hooey, a catheter and pee jug, multiple momentary power outages, a white SUV driving down winding roads, a big surprise, a secret beach spot, the ocean, talk of San Francisco, multiple headaches, multiple barfing episodes, multiple bloody noses, water stealing, a camera recording, coffee stirring, flip flops, multiple newspapers and packages, a really bright room, parking garage hooey, baseball bat, attempted breaking and entering, funny hospital gowns, talk of stripping, talk of extra toilet paper, a book filled with pictures, doctor hooey, talk of a CT scan, a blank white void, unreliable internet, an awkward conversation, talk of prioritizing power for essential services, a bubble bath, sleeping, a coffee wake up, funny socks, a plate of cookies, cookie eating while driving, the hospital, attempted cookie plate returning, a bag full of canned soup, garbage, a box of ashes, a hidden dead body, a cat and mouse chase, a dead cell phone, leg stabbing, fire extinguisher to the face, cell phone charging, a phone recording, baseball bat to the face, tape bondage, arm slicing, kitchen cooking, skillet to the face, back stabbing, another baseball bat attack, serious head bashing, and a resolution that may divide the audience.

Kim Richards? None.

Gratuitous: Covid-19, multiple weird conspiracies concerning Covid-19, KCLA, catheter, GPS hooey, small bottles of wine, baseball bat, a “For Us” book, Massacre on Aisle 12 and 6:66 P.M. DVDs in a desk drawer, a cupboard filled with canned soup and paper towels, a map on the wall, Spaghettios, “Sexy Bath Time Playlist” CD, a CD player, a pack of D batteries, a keychain knife shaped like a peanut that’s also called “Mr. Peanut,” socks with people’s faces on them, a very specific wallet, an empty can of Green Giant Green Beans, an “exploring the kitchen” montage, and talk of coffee.

Best lines: “So you’re saying this virus may have originated in Canada?,” “We’re going to my secret happy place,” “This is incredible. I can see why this is your happy place,” “You’re a dork but I love you,” “What are you doing?,” “Are you okay?,” “You wouldn’t happen to have any extra rolls of toilet paper, would you? I’ve been out for days,” “Should I just set this on the table?,” “Is this him? Your husband?,” “You’ve got a nice place here,” “Is this you guys? That’s neat!,” “Being cooped up here really stinks sometimes, do you know what I mean?,” “Sexy bath time playlist?,” “Wait, are you telling me that I smell?,” “My God, I’m married to a man stuck in the nineties,” “I thought there was going to be porn music on there,” “Susan! Wake up!,” “That’s very sappy, and kind of ridiculous,” “What do you mean you can’t operate? It’s the whole reason we’re here!,” “We know it’s risky, it’s fucking brain surgery!,” “I’m awake, baby. Where are you?,” “Somebody is in the wrong apartment. So are you,” “Oh, Susan! I just want a little food for my wife and me!,” “Mr. Peanut to the rescue,” “This place is totally empty,” “You’re sick. Everybody is sick. That’s the problem with the pandemic,” “How’s that for a pandemic, bitch?,” “Did you see this coming you psycho piece of shit?,” and “Coffee. Coffee? Of course.”

The final score: review Virtually Perfect
The 411
Self Isolated, written and directed by and featuring Chad Ridgely, is a slow burn horror thriller about a woman that wakes up one morning and finds herself seemingly alone in the world. Where is everyone? Where is her husband? And what has happened to the world around her? Just what the heck is going on? Featuring top notch performances from star Maggi Mayfield as well as Doug Burch and Ridgely, Self Isolated is a horror thriller that will both creep you out and freak you out. It’s an absolute must see. Make it a part of your movie watching life. Self Isolated is currently available to rent and buy on Amazon and is streaming for free on the Roku Channel.

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Self Isolated, Bryan Kristopowitz