I tell everyone beforehand I will be brutally honest with my reviews. For some reason, they never believe me. If you want proof, go listen to the podcast of Gun Town, where I rip into Ace through the entire movie. And he's my buddy.
Everything below is a *spoiler*. Don't yell at me afterwards.
Well, I normally watch a movie twice when I review it. That's usually because I want to catch all the nuances and such that I may miss on one view.
[After the review, I included my entire notes while watching the movie. It's basically a scene by scene breakdown. It may give you a better idea of what I was watching.]
Here, I had to watch In the Shadows twice just to figure out what was going on. And if any of the film makers dare come in and say "I didn't get it," I will send Boxlee the Fresh and Goro the Undead to rend them to pieces.
First- Trejo was in this movie for about 1:45 from what I counted. Fine, classic bait and switch; I'll roll with that.
Now, normally I'd do a director, actors, producer bit here to say what else they have been in. None of them have been in anything you have heard of. But there are the rare tri-fails of Producer-Director-Writer Nicole Elmer with Producer-Writer-Lead Actor Jorge Sermini.
Let's start off with the good stuff.
Video and Sound.
They used a very good digital camera, or they used some software like CineLook. The audio was fine, with clear dialog and no wildly varying sound levels. Location shots were wonderfully done, almost like a travelogue. The cinematography was fine when it was doing normal shots. When it got into the flashback/hallucination scenes, they tried to use various filters that just didn't work. Also, some of the scenes were filtered like they were trying to pull of a Bava or Romera affect. Nah, not working here.
Now the bad stuff.
Where do I start? How about nowhere, which is about all the range of emotion anyone displayed. Diego was constantly befuddled. I wouldn't be surprised if his pant's zipper befuddled him. Hillary was a slab of meat that vacillated between horny and stupid. There were some other people in the film that could have been eaten by aardvarks and I wouldn't have cared.
Besides a few shots of "blood" on some people, none. The "Shadow Man" was obviously digital, but he was only in a few shots, so no biggy.
30 second capsule review. Diego is a "healer," who can heal and bring people back from the dead. It hurts him when he does so, however, and causes a dark power to haunt him. Hilary comes to the island (filmed in Puerto Rico, but never named) to do a documentary on something or another. She needs some crew help, because she brings no one with her (?). Many flashbacks of Diego learning how to heal and getting his drowned daughter resurrected. He and Hilary become romantically entangled in about 1 day, ever though Hilary is going through a divorce and has a daughter, and Diego has a (rather hot) girlfriend. His wife and daughter left him, though.
And that's pretty much it. There's this ominous Shadow Person that pops every once in a while to scare Diego, but never does anything. At the end, Hilary goes back to her family and Diego's daughter comes back. The end. Are you not thrilled?!
I guess the flashbacks and Shadow Man are supposed to be scary, but they're just confusing. As for the supposed "sex" scenes, in one Hilary bends over the sink and stares into the camera as Diego humps her. Her expression never changes. I've tenderized meat that got more excited than her. I think the "film makers" were trying to make her look dead inside or something, but then she's crying in the next scene about how sorry she was for "enticing" him into that. Meet the Feebles was sexier, and that was a stuffed hippo and rat.
This isn't a horror film. The scariest thing about it is how inept the actors are. Guy has some powers, and a shadow goes "booga booga" every 20 minutes or so, and a girl bones him a few times, then gets upset. Thrilling.
I'd love to know what kind of leverage they had on Trejo to appear in this crap-fest.
I never want to see another of these peoples' movies on this site again. I gave my word that I would honestly review the film after paying for it. Bobo is currently in a rage stabbing me in my groin screaming, "You are a stupid, stupid boss!"
I can't believe they made such a foofaraw about this shitstorm of cinema. They should be embarrassed and burn all known copies.
**** Review Notes ****
[edit- Guy is Diego, the healer. Girl is Hilary, the documentary person.]
Annoying jump cuts
(future Az- shows his life saving powers and wife/girlfriend leaving him)
Non-black-lined subtitles in yellow. In a bright colored film. Err, I hate that. And white credits. C'mon, man, you have no concept of contrast?
Annoying switching between Spanish (with subtitles) and English.
(Future Az- this happens for the entire movie. Why?)
Looking at pics of his daughter (ties in with the woman leaving him?). Checks out girl walking into bar. Now on same ferry with her.
Crisp picture- either a good digital cam or a good TruFilm (or whatever it's called) processing.
Flashbacks- (I think this is supposed to be his kid.)
He gets a friend(?) to give the girl (American, Swedish?) a ride into town. Girl has daughter.
Guy's old GF/wife (?) on the beach. Or is it a new GF?
More jumbled cuts, with b&w and color filters. (Guy saves the old dude from the beginning of the movie. Then a bunch of nonsense. Hint- you're not Cronenberg.)
Exciting discussion between guy and friend. Half of it is, literally in the subs, "Blah blah blah…"
Girl is hitting on guy.
Guy: "Charming, like the toilet paper brand." High humor this is not. Though I would punch her in the head, too. She's slightly better than Paris Hilton in the acting department.
Girl hires guy to help her out on her "documentary" about ???
Back to looking at pics of daughter. Flashback to them in the ocean. Looks like she drowned.
Driving, interviews by yaz-girl. More driving through a city. More B-roll shots. Guy wants the gal to "respect their (island?) privacy."
Bongo drummers! But, replaying the same bar of music over and over is rather annoying.
Colors are not good when filtered badly.
Oh, guy has to use his special powers to raise someone from the dead. Girl wants to tape it, he gets pissed. Maybe that privacy thing?
Resurrection flashbacks- there is exposition, but it's really hard to read. Bunch of jump cuts, hey, she's alive! But he can see who strangled her. Plot point?
More daughter flashbacks. Oops, she's dead so let's take her to Trejo! He don't give a fuck. Total Trejo time- ~45 seconds and 2 words of dialogue.
Discussions on employment, what he did to revive the woman, and giving up the tape. The NFL negotiations made more sense than this.
Interviewing a store owner about absolutely nothing ("Are you in a relationship?" "Did you vote for the current president?") Estranged husband calls girl about divorce. Girl is a bitch.
Guy goes off to give his girlfriend batteries on their boat. ??? Fascinating.
Girl is completely drunk. Fight with husband. Takes off wedding ring- from the wrong hand!
Now she's hitting on the guy. To keep it short, she's acting like a total slut, he resists for a while, they have a "meaningful" conversation, they go back her room.
They fall asleep in full clothing. He has a dream/hallucination of her naked (I'd say it satisfied the horror "booby" rule, if there was anything scary about it) and them having sex.
Next morning- guy takes a shower, she follows him in. He then bends her over the sink in the most un-erotic sex scene ever. Her face has all the emotion of reading a fast food menu.
Oh oh, husband has been cheating on girl.
Ocean salvage scene. Guy and GF found something. (Plot point?)
Watching daughter videos. Sees a shadow figure. Passes out again.
Trejo again! Oh Trejo can raise the dead, too. Ah, he taught the guy how to do it. "But it has a price." (Yeah, no shit.) Yay, 2 whole minutes of Trejo this time.
Some more flashbacks and/or hallucinations, shadow guy shows up again.
Girl gives the tape back.
Guy gives interview- wife and kid left him. Guy is now interviewing girl.
Back to the beach where the daughter "died."
Now they're getting drunk. Trading secrets, blah blah. Oh, girl had a tough time with a baby. Well, no shit, ass. Thank you for that soliloquy on how you did not kill your daughter.
OK, GF is choking guy, now, he's choking her, shadow man shows up, now guy just chopped up his daughter (???).
Shadow man again. Back to the house. And the girl is in the bed. ? Shadow man.
Oh, husband doesn't want to divorce the girl anymore? Plot point?
Intense dialog between guy and girl. She wants more time with guy, rather than her husband and daughter?
GF leaves guy. Random jellyfish! Sunset! Mariachi band! Guy washes dishes.
And hallucinations again. And he's deaf now? Huh?
Flashback? Kissing- you realize you've known this guy for 3 days, and your leaving your daughter for this misfit?
Sex on the patio while the entire lounge/bar watches. Lovely. You suffocate her, and you're confused she ran away from you?
Now more hallucinations.
Guy passed out at the bar, friend is staggering him back home. With more hallucinations.
Now we back to Trejo's place. Guess he's dead now, since no one's home.
Girl went back home.
Guy metaphorically buries his daughter, she comes back, and… end.
*** End Notes ***
Last edited by azathoth (2013-03-06 18:11:44)