Monday, April 18, 2011
Italy has a rich history in horror film and one of the newest releases from Italy is 2009s Shadow. Many fans have hailed it as a return to the glory days of Italian horror. While it doesn’t quite reach that level it is a decent little horror film from a new director.
Shadow tells the story of a wounded Iraqi vet finishing up his tour of duty. To escape the memory of his time in Iraq he decides to bicycle across Europe and visit a spot known as the Shadow.
Stopping at a local pub he meets a young woman played by Frontiers Karina Testa, and quickly falls for her. Defending her against unwanted advances he quickly makes an enemy of two locals. Fleeing the bar the two run into the locals again and a desperate fight and flight ensues.
Escaping the two run deeper into the dark forest followed by the local hunters. There all four fall victim to the mysterious character known as Mortis. Mortis brings his victims into his lair where he tortures them one by one. While not as graphic as many torture horror films the scenes are very cringe worthy and chilling.
Probably the best thing about Shadow is Mortis himself. The worst thing is that the character doesn’t get enough time. Due to the ending of the film I think it’s unlikely we will see a sequel. Hopefully Nuot Aquint, who plays Mortis will get more roles as he was absolutely chilling in Shadow.
The ending was unexpected, at least to me as I never saw it coming. Maybe I am too willing to tale things at face value, but I am almost always looking for the “twist” in a horror film. I think the ending was fairly believable and the very last scene definitely shook me a bit. Looking back I can see that there were clues all along that something was amiss. I can understand that people might have a problem with the ending but to me it was the perfect ending foe the film.
The film does have a anti war theme running through it. Some may also see an anti American sentiment. The overly sensitive may be offended, but I didn’t think it was as blatantly anti American as The Hill Have Eyes remake.
Shadow is a film that is worth a look. It might not be a return to the glory days of Italian horror but it is a step in the right direction.