Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Shadowland Review: An Interesting Action Horror Premise Let Down By Underwhelming Effects

Amelia Eve	...	Elaine Rebecca Finch	Rebecca Finch	...	Dillon Vivien Taylor	Vivien Taylor	...	Jamie Tony Greengrass	Tony Greengrass	...	Kane Jason Harvey	Jason Harvey	...	Mickey Stuart Daly	Stuart Daly	...	Eli Colin MacDougall	Colin MacDougall	...	Gary Susan Coyle	Susan Coyle	...	Mary Lily Cooper	Lily Cooper	...	Sandy Keenan Ben	Keenan Ben	...	Cam David E Grimes	David E Grimes	...	Ambassador

Release date: March 1, 2021 (UK)
Running time: 74 minutes
Starring: Ameila Eve, Ben Keenan 

Written and Directed By Simon Kay

Cam, an ex-serviceman turned bodyguard recruits Elaine, an old team member and colleague, for what should be an easy mission: get the Ambassador he is responsible for, and his family, safely to a function in rural Scotland. But en-route they are attacked by hijackers hellbent on ransoming the Ambassador. In the ensuing gunfight the Ambassador is shot and wounded and his wife is killed. The survivors take refuge in an old military barracks and they can’t believe their luck when the hijackers themselves are mysteriously attacked and killed. But soon, whatever killed the hijackers has them in its sights and their only hope of survival is an old scientist from the barracks who seems to know more than he says about whatever lurks outside.

David E Grimes	...	Ambassador Gordon Houston	Gordon Houston	...	Young Kane Valerie Adler	Valerie Adler	...	Russian Hiker Nathaniel Cowper	Nathaniel Cowper	...	Soldier Keith Porter	Keith Porter	...	Victorian Nigel Miles-Thomas	Nigel Miles-Thomas	...	Major Casey Produced by  David Baillie	...	executive producer Natalia Chorazewska	...	executive producer Stuart Daly	...	producer David E Grimes	...	producer Oliver Mattinson	...	line producer Sebastian Nanena	...	producer Gayle Shankley	...	producer
Shadowland starts you off with a very different style.  After an opening that introduces the concept of people disappearing in this land, the movies moves to a more campy opening.  I liked this as the characters seemed quirky and fun, and it was not what I expected from this genre.  The film also eventually moves into a more horror focus, with the team trying to figure out what is attacking people in the barracks and survive the attack.  The action and effects get better in this part and the film becomes much more exciting to watch. And I appreciated the film's attempt to graft a supernatural, horror type explanation to a real world mystery.  

But Shadowland's action and effects leave something to be desired.  The firefights feel frantic and rushed.  The military team's movements during these scenes don't look very coordinated and the terrorists likewise seem disorganized.  Members of both teams don't seem to have control of their weapons, and the overall gunfire just isn't that impactful.  And this is not helped by effects that feel underwhelming.  The film is working within its budget, but that means some scenes are shot with a cut right before an event happens, only for you to see a carefully set up aftermath.  It's makes the film feel less exciting and less polished, not something you want in either a horror or action movie.  And this is not helped by some exaggerated delivery of lines.  It feels like many of the people and scenarios are attempts to act like an action movie star, which leads to scenarios that just don't feel natural or polished.  And it leads to the film often feeling overdramatic and forced, especially during some of the pivotal scenes.  The timeline also sometimes feels off, and I couldn't tell if the movie was being told slightly out of order or if events just didn't take the same amount of time.  Essentially, two time lines were happening at the same time, but one seemed to be taking much longer than the other.  

Shadowland's action - horror focus and enjoyable opening start this film off right, but it is let down by underwhelming effects and jumbled story.

Pass on it.

Cinematography by  David Lee	 Paul-John Ross	Film Editing by  Clive Payne	 Paul-John Ross	Art Direction by  Andy Pratt	Makeup Department  Sara Adamson	...	makeup artist Karen Shields	...	makeup department headSecond Unit Director or Assistant Director  Rod Moss	...	assistant director Anna Saracka	...	assistant directorArt Department  Dave Caldow	...	stand-by props James Killen	...	props Bob Moffat	...	props Doug Tiplady
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Shadowland premieres on March 1, 2021. 

For additional information about the film and to rent / buy it, check it out at the links below.

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