Film Review: The Shadow People (2011)

SYNOPSIS:

A girl becomes haunted by Satanic appearances during the night.

REVIEW:

The cult that may or may not be scaring you is in your neighborhood and they’re not wearing shirts. This movie was pretty terrible so I don’t know if they found their shirts or not since I didn’t actually get through the movie and something might have happened, but I didn’t feel like waiting another hour and a half to find out.

This movie starts off pretty interesting and maybe that had me expecting too much. The main character, Bethany Ryder, is filming her friends for her college lit class and ends up catching something bizarre that leads them to investigate further. Bethany’s friend grabs the camera from her and runs out of the car, recording what appears to be a cult or devil worshipping event through the use of night vision. So right here I’m thinking- okay this is going to be like the Blair Witch Project and might work if they do it well.

Then the guys start chanting in a stupid doubled distorted audio and walking towards them saying “human sacrifice” which would make me ask why someone would stick around if a bunch of shirtless guys standing around a fire are coming towards you saying that? Then the camera starts jumping back and forth as if the footage is corrupted, then they scream and the camera falls. Okay, I’m still kind of intrigued as to what may or may not happen and even though it’s corny I know it’s low-budget so I’ll give it a shot.

The next scene is with a regular camera with a normal set-up and I think that’s when it all started going downhill. A few doctors are telling Bethany she had been in a coma for nine months and that she sleep walks in a coma which is the strangest thing they’ve ever seen or heard of. Amidst cheesy dialogue and terrible acting I start wondering if anyone in that room has actually been to a doctors office. It moves to the parking lot where the Grandpa, who used to be the mayor by the way, wheels her out to the car, while the doctors, nurses and random hospital staff chatter nonsensically (as professionals normally would) until he finally helps her into the car, loads her wheelchair into the trunk, makes a ‘joke’ at one of the doctors expense and then drives away to begin a conversation.

Are you bored? Me too. This was about the pace the movie crept along at for at least half an hour. Along with getting everything spelled out for us, nothing much really happens. The sound recording and sound effects team did a fantastic job. The camera work is great, which is unfortunately overshadowed by a terrible script, terrible acting and terrible dialogue. The acting by the lead, Joanne Wurm, is especially terrible and she needs to realize yelling is not acting. I feel that if you have decent equipment and somewhat of a budget, which this seems like it had, then you should spend more money on the talent or rewrite the script so you don’t need so many characters who can’t act. I can go down the list, but basically everyone over 40 was pretty bad. The soundtrack was good at first, but starts getting repetitive especially when nothing happens for minutes at a time.

Everything in this movie seems to take forever to get to the point. The dialogue is unnatural and doesn’t make sense and the biggest thing is a lot of this movie does not need to be there. Will the no one in the mirror then I close the mirror scene be the only scary one in this movie? This was made in 2011 and I’m assuming the director has seen a horror movie before. This isn’t just target specific.

I would love to push for a retirement of this gag unless someone can come up with a new spin for it. It’s quite possibly the most predictable scare of the 21st century. End it now please. But you know what? In this movie I’ll take it since that is the only thing that happened that might even scare a person in the last half hour. If something interesting is going to happen make it happen in the first hour or shorten the script to eliminate all of that random crap where people walk upstairs and talk about every single thing that they are going to do and doing and holy crap why did you make this two and a half hours?

This is not Lord of the Rings, Avatar, The Dark Knight…the list could go on and on, but the main point is that this is not some epic story that incorporates multiple plot lines interweaving a new unique world. This movie most likely could have been summed up in an hour at the pace it was going and definitely in an hour and a half. Once I saw that I was an hour into it and had another feature length movie staring me in the face I decided to turn it off.

The Shadow People (2011)

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