A radio talk show host unravels a conspiracy about encounters with mysterious beings known as The Shadow People and their role in the unexplained deaths of several hundred victims in the 1980s.
Originally titled “The Door”, “Shadow People” is a must-see thriller that is definitely worth a look. It always puts a smile on my face to be able to mention another “potential contender” for one of the scariest films of the year, thus….”Shadow People” will definitely get under your skin if you take the content seriously . As horror fans, we tend to question every product that delivers scary content based on real events with the tendency to dismiss. This of course has happened in the past many times when we have been duped by marketing or some early found footage film. Hence, “Shadow People” is “not” a found footage film, but it does contain “some” found footage.
For those who are curious, I’ve clarified the facts from fictional aspects.
A better way to classify this film is to point directly to the 2009 movie, “The Fourth Kind”. “The Fourth kind” was an effective scare fest that presented itself as “truth”, only to be called out in the media as a marketing ploy (thus ruining whatever scare factor it may have instilled at the time). The let down was unfortunate and took much of the steam out of the realism.
“Shadow People” is set up in that same way but in this case (and like the film “The Mothman Prophecies”) is based on real documented events containing a collection of footage that runs alongside the acted portions. Now there are a few rules of thought here. The reports and documentation of the “Shadow people phenomena” have” been written about in quite a few book releases. From research, the character Charlie Crowe is played by actor Dallas Roberts (Walking Dead) who is “also “played by another unnamed actor (whom we are presented as the real Charlie Crowe). The film is quite clever, but for the record Charlie Crowe is “also” a fictional character (though the phenomena of “Shadow People” is not).
The film “Shadow People” mixes fiction with non fiction which in the scheme of things doesn’t matter all that much when you consider that SUNDS (Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome) is a very real medical phenomena that has claimed a number of lives. In some of those cases, it was reported that the victims saw dark entities emerging out of the shadows that eventually claimed their lives as a result of sleep paralysis. “Sleep paralysis” is also very real.
The film takes on the metaphysical subject quite well using special effects, decent acting, and some legitimate scares that probably will send many on a book-buying binge shortly after.
To get our journey underway, we are plunged into a narration of You-tube junkies who have questioned a viral video called “Sleep study GR16 1971“. For readers, you can watch this very video.
Though you’ll notice that the # of views don’t match the film suggesting of course it as being a Marketing placement. Never the less, it’s still creepy in a retro kind of way.
Our film centers on small town local radio personality Charlie Crowe (Dallas Roberts, The Walking Dead) who is in the midst of facing dropping ratings that could effect his chance for syndication. One night a caller announces some frantic notions about shadows that attack when you think of them too much. These being the infamous shadow people that have been a basis for much metaphysics controversy.
Charlie dismisses the caller but is pulled back in when he receives a a package and a call on air that ends in gun fire.
As you can guess, this sparks some interest and leverages his show in the media. Charlie, become fascinated and also begins researching. The research bleeds over into others and also sparks a wave of night terror death epidemics. All the while, we get a side split screen view that shows the “real” events and persons of whom the actor is portraying. Trust me, you’ll get it, when you see it.
Now this “Fourth Kind” approach does work well and seems to push the agenda of the film forward into some pretty eerie special effects portions. In essence we get alto of freaky things going to n that begins to ignite the whole subject of shadow people” and their impact to us as a culture.
The movie runs smoothly taking into account its knack for just staying creepy in that same way that the film “Sinister” does.
I was surprised that the film rose above independent trappings and really stood out, but for me it seemed to be a great way to present the controversial subject matter to the mainstream.
Whether the studios used the content to “pump up” the creepiness is besides the point when you begin to look into real reports that mirror that film’s content. Do yourself a favor and rent this (at night). It’s good times and will keep you alert to your own shadows.
Shadow People (2012)