Garden Island: A Paranormal Documentary (2012) – Movie Review

Garden Island: A Paranormal Documentary (2012) - Movie Review

Steadily working through the backlog of films I’ve watched over the last two months…and this one just kinda stood out to me today!

Don’t know why – it’s really not that memorable…but it had a pretty cool title (don’t you think?)

Anyway, I might as well let the cat out of the bag now – nothing to write home about with this one really, so you can move onto the next film if you can’t be bothered to read it’s review…

The Plot

In 2012, a small film crew and a paranormal team traveled to a remote American Indian burial ground located on an isolated island in northern Lake Michigan. Their mission was to unearth the truth behind a series of tragic paranormal related incidents that occurred on the island in 1989.

What they encountered was a horror no one was prepared for. The film crew captured footage of the terrifying events as they first set foot on the shore of garden island and the horror that unraveled including the remaining moments in their own demise.

Attack of the Fatties! 

To me, the most unique aspect of this film was the…shape…of the cast!.

I really hope I’m not going to get into any trouble by saying this but…they were all pretty fat fuckers! (Sorry if you are a cast member reading this – I only say what I see!)

Anyway, I’m used to American movies going to great pains to make sure their characters are not ‘Big Mac Munchers’ – but this project didn’t seem to follow suit.

This swiftly brought me to the conclusion that the movie was a complete indie project…which it was.

The cast is probably made up of the well-fed friends of the director etc.

But that’s neither here nor there – they were all a little rotund.


I’ve heard that other movie critic sites out there, are referring to this film as ‘The Michigan Version of The Blair Witch Project’…

Fuck me that’s gotta be a bit of a stretch.

I really wouldn’t put the two in the same bracket…even the same universe. They are both Found Footage, in a forest…and that’s where the similarities end.

I get the feeling the director sent out a few early screeners to these horror critics, to make sure they got a half-decent review in return.

Anyway, the movie really does have some decent scenes…but it also has some painfully bad ones.

At times the rather bland and overweight characters give a sort of realistic feel to the film, because strangely enough they are more believable than the 6 foot blonde characters that usually pepper the screens of horror films.

But, at the same time, you get the feeling that uncle Jack and his redneck wife have put together a Found Footage movie…because ‘someone’ told them they could earn millions off it!

The plot starts off being decent enough – a straight as an arrow Native American burial ground yarn, but when they get to the island the plot starts to branch off ever so slightly…then fall apart completely.

I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say that some of you reading this may well enjoy this plot explosion. I didn’t, but I’m just a film watcher, like you (taste is subjective AND objective!).

I’m sitting here feeling I might have been a bit harsh on this movie…but it really didn’t work in my eyes overall.

Sure, I’ve certainly watched a lot worse recently, but this had the platform to be pretty decent, which makes it all the more disappointing.

The cinematography is well above average and the location is decent – only a poor plot or direction decisions could spoil it…

Which is sadly what happened here.

Sorry guys – not for me.


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