Director Erle C. Kenton creates a whole world with a few gobos, clever set design and a bunch of freaks. The freaks are half animals have humans but are treated like beasts. It takes us a while to understand that Dr. Moreau is responsible for what characters call the House of Pain, a politically incorrect world where hybrids are considered abominations. Dr. Moreau is responsible for all of it.
Better make-up would make this film better. We don’t see enough of the “natives”. They aren’t exactly sympathetic yet the script wants us to care about them. There is a ton of dialogue and various filler. Nothing too exciting happens in this film until the third act. The film is based on a novel by H.G. Wells. The original concept is interesting but never fully exploited.
In the best scenes of Island of Lost Souls, Dr. Moreau is either cracking his whip at the natives, running away from them or being a jerk to just about everyone. The worst subplot involves a romance between the protagonists. The gimmick is simply too massive for the romantic element. The movie would be better without it. Island of Lost Souls is too shallow, too slow and keeps the best for last.