Last night after I got home from watching Insidious and reviewing it [ Insidious Review ] I had a hankering to watch me some more horror flicks. I was going to finally sit down and watch Case 39 when I remembered DethBanger posting about a new Italian horror film Shadow which is being released by FrightFest in the UK on May 23rd. The trailer looked great and I remembered that it is on Netflix already so I figured why not give it a go. Often the rare films we never hear about are worth checking out and Shadow true to form offers plenty of entertainment value on its limited budget.
Shadow stars Jake Muxworthy and Karina Testa and is an English language film that was shot in Italy so although it is a ‘foreign film’ it is an English language foreign film for those who have an issue with sub-titles. In Shadow, returning from a devastating tour of duty in Iran, David (Jake Muxworthy) decides to go on a mountain-biking adventure in the Alps to put his horrific memories of war behind him. High in the Alpine forest he meets pretty young Angeline (Karina Testa) and together they explore their idyllic surroundings.
They discover a local legend about a lost Nazi experiment camp – a discovery that will force David to endure horrors more terrifying than anything he encountered on the battlefield. He will come face-to-face with the bloodthirsty butcher Mortis (Nuot Arquint).
Shadow reminds me of a mix of The Hills Have Eyes, Wrong Turn and the incredible French film Frontieres. It offers a strong cast, an interesting script and although the villains are somewhat cliché and overplayed the film definitely works. Add to the mix a fantastic and highly plausible ending and you end up with one of the best Italian horror thrillers I have seen in quite some time.
Shadow in very cliché fashion takes us into the woods and introduces us to deranged and sadistic hunters and a brutal killed named ‘the butcher’ but it manages to bring some new levels to this typical genre path. Yes we are once again in the dreaded woods but who really is the villain and who is the true victim?
Director and writer Federico Zampaglione proves the age old adage that when it comes to horror if you stick with a proven formula and add your own unique twists to it you are hard pressed to fail. It isn’t always about re-inventing the genre sometimes its about taking something tried and true, adding your own twists to it and making it your own.
Although the Butcher in the woods angle has been played out hundreds of times Federico manages to bring a fresh twist to an age old concept and make it his own. I would strongly encourage fans of films like Wrong Turn, Hostel or The Hills Have Eyes to checkout this fun Italian horror film. Although its admittedly not truly breaking any new ground of offering anything new to the genre it is still a fun waste of 90minutes and a great way to take advantage of your $8 a month Netflix account.
Tip on Netflix Bandwith: In alot of areas the way that telecom companies are combating Netflix and its threat to their cable satellite business is by charging us extra for bandwith. A single movie can be anywhere from 500megs to 2 gigs so if you do the math in a month it is very easy to go over your bandwith and get nailed with a massive internet bill. Read this tip : Save Bandwith on Netflix to keep your bandwith under control. Since I adjusted my Netflix account ( its really easy ) I have not yet gone over my bandwith allotment.