My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This lovely mystery/thriller (not horror as I was under the impression) is set in the early 50's on the titular island, upon which is built the maximum-security hospital for the criminally insane. The only way in or out is by the ferry to the one dock. Memo to Gotham Corrections: remodel Arkham. Oh, did I mention that there's a hurricane? Tension built? Good.
US Marshall Teddy Daniels is sent in with his new partner to investigate the escape from the hospital of a woman who drowned her children, but still believes them (and her husband, killed in the War) to be alive.
Martin Scorsese's direction is- well, I think he owns the adjective- masterful. Part way through the movie, I had a good suspicion of what was actually going on. It was a twist worth of an early Shyamalan movie, having the entire thing be a giant "role-play" into the delusion of the "Marshall" to get him to face the reality that his wife had drowned their children, and he had killed her. I even realized who the missing doctor must be. It all clicked in, and even retrospectively the little details fit, like the fact that in Teddy's dream of his wife, she's burned, but she's also covered in water and bleeding from her chest. I did miss the anagrams, but without the names written down, it's not obvious.
I was worried that this movie was going to end like Total Recall or The Ninth Seal, where at the end the viewer is not sure of what is reality and what isn't. Thank you, Mister Scorsese, for not fucking with my brain to that extent.
Seriously, do see this.