The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

The Shadows


MV5BMTcwNjc0NDU5M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDU0NDM1Mw@@._V1_UY268_CR6,0,182,268_AL_.jpgOn the surface, this film is technically on point. It’s grainy and dirty like an 80s horror movie. They know how to light it too – with stark blues and occasional fog, with creepy atmosphere all throughout. They’ve assembled a reasonably competent cast as well, dressed them in dirty clothes and got the girls really skimpy (after all, a pretty girl is the cheapest special affect out there).

So why does this suck?

It’s a story of bunch of young people whose boat crashed. They take shelter in the Lighthouse which happens to be heated. We don’t see the boat crash or anything mind you (We don’t have NEAR that kind of budget!), the kind of just tell us what happened. There is some stock footage for it, panning around the Lighthouse itself and ominous clouds outside but it’s choppy and pixelated… Almost at a diffrent frame rate.

What really surprised me was that the sound mix was all over the place. These filmmakers have a passable idea and a great looking set, but they lack of technical expertise to put this together properly and honestly it just kills the film. I don’t know what’s going on half the time because I can’t understand characters. The choppy inserts drop me right out of the film.

And the monsters? Pirate suits and white contact lenses. Not even some grease paint and cobwebs – just plain old guys in pirate suit with contacts. Kind of like the blind dead made by somebody who’s never actually seen those films. Not that we get a lot of monster time anyhow. Towards the end they are replaced by actors in black velvet suits… The titular shadows of the film. They attempt to build up suspense and develop relationships but because of the wonky sound mix and poor pacing it just doesn’t work, and by the time we get halfway through, I just don’t care about these characters. That’s a shame too, because once we hit the third act, their bickering at the Lighthouse and turning on each other just like in “Night of the Living Dead”.  The influences are pretty glaring. Thing is, it would work if I were invested in these people – the quiet moments are just too quiet, and the story is just too shallow.

And that’s just the thing, I feel bad for having trash this movie. You know what? I wanna do over – I wanna see the same film makers, altered by experience and time make this film again because there is potential here, and it’s just got sunk by it’s production values


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