Dark Island was a film that one took a random punt on because they couldnt find what they were looking for. The result feels exactly like one of The Asylums mockbusters films usually with soundalike titles designed to ride the coattails of the anticipated success of popular big-budget releases. In this case, Dark Island feels like an Asylum mockbuster designed to copy the success of tvs Lost (2004-10). Take the premise a group of people are stranded on an island where mysterious things are happening, including their having to deal with a malevolent monster made of black smoke that lurks through the foliage trying to kill them. There is even a line of poles erected that are capable of holding it in (although, we are never given any explanation of the significance of the dead crows). Elsewhere, we learn that the island was used for illicit scientific experiments. Just like Lost, the action is also interspersed with flashbacks that tell the stories of each of the people stranded on the island leading up to how they came to be there.
The main problem with Dark Island is the plot. To its credit, the films explanation for the black smoke a military biowarfare experiment gone amok and turning everything organic that it touches poisonous is a far more credible one than the explanation eventually coughed up by Lost that the black smoke is the evil brother of an immortal god-like man who was thrown into the cave that protects the worlds heart and that that this has caused him for no clear reason to be able to flip back and forward between human form and black smoke. The main problem I had with the black smoke here is that for a cloud of toxic gas it seems to acts with a good deal of purpose and sentience in terms of hunting people, not something that clouds of fumes are known to do. It should have been relatively easy for the writers to have devised some explanation for this.
More importantly, the films plot involving the party fleeing from the cloud of black smoke and the fight for an antidote is simply not interesting enough, nor directed with enough tension. The plot has also been designed to keep throwing in twists that the group are not there for the intention they initially announced, of traitors in the midst, the deliberate infection of the survivor at the end but these become increasingly more preposterous in the storys need to keep compounding things. At the end, one realises these constant twists have gotten to the point where every single member of the expedition, with the exception of Jai Koutrae who is merely meant to be the boat captain, have all been pretending to be someone other than who they initially said they are, whereupon the scenario collapses into absurdity.
For a no-budget effort, the unknown cast at least play with a reasonable level of competence. They take their roles seriously, invest a modest amount in them and certainly dont come across as stock. The sole exception to this is Marc Ritas absurdly over-the-top performance as a US general, which feels badly like someones ill-informed idea of a bawling starsnstriper general should be.