Welcome to paradise!
In this case, paradise is North Captiva Island, which is located just offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a beautiful location, a great place to both take a vacation and perhaps even solve a murder!
In Killer Island, Mike (Brian Gross) and Ashley (Barbie Castro) have come to Captiva Island for a variety of reason. They’ve come for a vacation and they’ve come to work on their struggling marriage. Ashley has memories of growing up on the island and issues from the past that she needs to deal with. And Mike … well, Mike really wants to go fishing. Fortunately, their friend Jim Ross (Jordi Vilasuso) has a very nice boat.
Jim also has a nephew. Johnny (Miguel Fasa) is the handyman at the local resort. He’s always polite and he’s a good worker. Still, it shouldn’t take long for most viewers to suspect that Johnny might have some issues. His constantly blood-shot eyes give hint to the fact that Johnny doesn’t get much sleep. As he explains it at one point, he has dreams and they’re not good ones. Johnny has a complicated history and two women have recently vanished on the island…
When Ashley finds a broken anklet on a dock, she takes it back to her room. The locals tell her that people are losing stuff on the island all the time and that it’s probably no big deal. “Finders keepers,” they tell her. Ashley just likes it because the words “Hope” and “Believe” are inscribed on each side. But when Johnny sees the anklet in Ashley’s bedroom, he freaks out.
Of course, Johnny isn’t the only person on the island with something to hide and nothing, not even murder, is as simple or cut-and-dried as it seems. How far are people willing to go to protect their secrets?
Now, I have to admit that I do have a bias when it comes to reviewing this film. See, my dream vacation would involve not only going to a beautiful location but also getting to solve a mystery while I was there. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Who doesn’t love the idea of escaping everyday life and getting to examine clues and speculate on motives while relaxing on the beach or exploring a tropical paradise? Though the film’s cast does a good job, Captiva Island really is the star of the film. It’s a visually stunning location and the film takes full advantage of it, with the camera swooping over the beaches and focusing on people discussing murder and mystery while the tide comes in behind them. Director Alyn Darnay and cinematographer Jon Schellenger do a good job of capturing the sunny beauty of the island.
As for the plot itself, it’s enjoyably melodramatic. Almost everyone has something that they’re hiding. Some guilty people are easy to spot while others hide their villainy quite well. It’s a nicely acted mystery, with Brian Cross and Barbie Castro making a believable and sympathetic married couple. Miguel Fasa steals the show, turning the unstable Johnny into a character who is both frightening and occasionally even sympathetic. If you’ve enjoyed Barbie Castro’s previous “killer” films (like Patient Killer, Boyfriend Killer, and Girlfriend Killer), you will definitely enjoy this one as well!
Killer Island will be available on VOD on May 25th..