Sunday, 23 June 2013
Shadow People (2013).
Shadow People is an incredibly creepy movie, at least before everything unravels in the final act. Before that, it certainly managed to make me jump more than once, and it's use of found footage, such as Youtube clips, news reports and cassette tapes make an otherwise thin story line more well rounded. The movie features no blood and gore, but rather relies on a creeping sense of dread to make the audience succumb to the horror of the situations on screen.
A radio show presenter gets a call one night from a teenager who claims he sees figures surrounding his bed. The presenter dismisses the call as a hoax, but later takes a deeper interest when they find out that the teenager dies of unexplained causes. This causes the presenter to do some digging, and he learns some experiments a local professor did in the seventies. The professor, who is dead, has a grave in the cemetery, even though it is said he was cremated, which leads the radio show host to wonder what is buried in the grave?
It is such a shame that the movie is so intriguing up to a point, and then it settles for thrills which fall flat and an ending that is incredibly weak. The constant references to the 'real' videos, interviews etc are frightening, and certainly do add an element of real fear to the proceedings. The movie is incredibly light on special FX, and is from the 'less is more' category of movies, and in this respect, it does work well. The director manages to litter the scenes of the movie with a sense of dread that certainly does get under the viewers skin, even though it falls flat at the end.
The movie feels like a throwback to the atmospheric movies of the past, rather like Session 9. It isn't a perfect movie in any way, but it is effective up to a point, and it manages to generate a feeling of tension without resorting to gory special FX or on screen ghosts. The added realism certainly gives the movie an upper hand, and fleshes out what would certainly be a weak story without it.
If you enjoy movies that get under your skin with very little on screen magic, then Shadow People is for you. While not perfect, it is an effective and atmospheric supernatural chiller that certainly makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and makes you look over your shoulder before switching the light off. It's just a shame the ending was so weak, and the third act falls short of what was promised before.