Unholy Island – The Idea

High on the Northumberland coast is the holy island of Lindisfarne; it’s remote, historic, and for about ten hours a day the only road off the island floods. Where better to set a horror film?


Me and Nic had talked about writing a film together for a while. I was a wannabe writer working the standard nine-to-five and he was a wannabe director making early steps in the film industry. If life is a road trip, we were both in the petrol station fuelling up for the long road ahead.

The day before Nic was due to leave to work on a film we went for a road trip. I don’t think we had a destination in mind, not when we started, but we ended settling quickly on Lindisfarne –  a place we both knew from school trips when we were younger. When we got there the island was deserted. It was, after all, late January, although we hadn’t given that much thought. The shops were shut but, like all good British towns, the island’s two pubs were open. And we went exploring.


It’ll have been about two hours later when we got back to the car. My phone battery had dipped below twenty percent and Nic’s wasn’t doing much better.

We set off home.

The car turned the corner, dipped down the little hill that led to the causeway off the island, and instead of road there was water. Everywhere we looked, water. So we did what all good British people do in such a crisis – we went to the pub and waited for all this to blow over.

With seven hours to kill before the tide ebbed away and we could set off back home and our phones early dead, we quickly ran out of things to do. Sure, we could talk to each other, but we’re millennials – we want more! And that’s when the idea hit us.

We could write a screenplay!

About what?

About a group of people who get trapped on Holy Island (but we have boundless imaginations…)

And so, in front of a log fire in a pub, Unholy Island was born on scraps of papers from Nic’s boot, us spitballing ideas at each other while the barmaid and her dog tried not to look too concerned.