A Must-See Family Thriller With A Captivating Storyline, Outstanding Performances And Breathtaking Cinematography
Published: November 3, 2023
By: Hanadie K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Three young girls try to stick together as they get trapped in a sea cave filled with crashing waves, hundreds of sea lions, and giant elephant seals.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Hanadie K. comments, “I love The Island of Lost Girls! Its captivating storyline, outstanding performances by young actresses who fearlessly handle their own stunts, and breathtaking cinematography on a remote island make it a must-see family thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat.”
The Island of Lost Girls
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
I love The Island of Lost Girls! Its captivating storyline, outstanding performances by young actresses who fearlessly handle their own stunts, and breathtaking cinematography on a remote island make it a must-see family thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat.
The storyline follows three young sisters who accidentally become stranded on a remote island, battling nature’s dangers and wildlife as they strive to stay together and survive a thrilling, unplanned adventure.
I like the originality of the storyline, which engaged me throughout. The girls’ resilience in the face of challenges adds depth to the narrative. The only drawback is that the film runs a bit long which makes it difficult to maintain its intensity. The cinematography completely immerses the audience in a captivating world with breathtaking shots that showcase the remote island’s wild beauty and close-ups that intensify emotional moments, such as the sisters’ struggles. The camera effectively captures encounters with wildlife, like sea lions and elephant seals, which adds to the film’s tension. Dynamic camera angles within the sea cave enhance the sense of adventure and danger. The costumes suit the storyline perfectly – given the girls being stranded on a remote island, they primarily wear wet bathing suits throughout the film. The remote island off the coast of Baja, California, serves as a breathtaking and immersive setting with its rugged coastline, sea caves and natural wildlife, such as sea lions and elephant seals; it creates a sense of realism that enhances the adventure and peril of the girls’ journey. One standout location is the sea cave, which becomes the story’s central element of tension and wonder. The dark, labyrinthine passages of the cave, illuminated by natural light, add a sense of mystery and danger. The background music, featured music, and sound effects enhance the film’s storytelling. Notably, the music intensifies during critical moments, such as when the girls face danger or navigate treacherous waters, effectively building tension. The natural sounds of the sea, waves, and wildlife make the audience feel intimately connected to the characters and their struggle for survival. The central characters are portrayed by real-life sisters Autumn Schmidt, Avila Schmidt, and Scarlet Schmidt. The sisters are carefree and adventurous at the start, embarking on a fun day at the beach. However, their characters transform significantly as the story unfolds, and they become stranded on the remote island. They evolve from carefree individuals into determined and resourceful young girls who have to rely on one another to survive. Each sister faces personal challenges and fears, and their growth is evident in their ability to confront and conquer these obstacles. This film benefits significantly from the collaborative efforts of the filmmaker family, with parents Ann-Marie Schmidt and Brian Schmidt directing and co-writing the film alongside their daughter Avila Schmidt. Their combined talents result in a cohesive and emotionally engaging narrative, and excellent performances by their daughters, Autumn, Avila, and Scarlet. My favorite part is when the girls dare to escape from their house to sneak to the beach. This scene captures their adventurous spirit and sets the tone for the entire film. It’s a moment filled with excitement and anticipation as the sisters embark on what they believe will be a carefree day of fun. The scene effectively establishes their characters and close bond, making it a memorable and engaging start to their remarkable journey.
The film’s message is about the strength of family bonds and the ability to adapt and grow in the face of adversity. It highlights the power of unity and determination and the importance of facing challenges together. It conveys that, even in the most challenging situations, the support and love of family can help individuals overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Note that the film does show kids doing risky things that kids might imitate. The girls perform dangerous stunts and engage in water activities that require caution and expertise.
I give The Island of Lost Girls 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It is available on VOD and DVD on October 3, 2023. So look for it!