Shallow Ground Review
Written by: Steve Lewis
One of the best horror movies I've seen to date. Every second was intense from start to finish.
In a quiet rural area, a naked boy shows up covered head to toe in blood at a sheriff's station. The puzzled officers search frantically to what had happened and learn that the boy isn't exactly...human.
I seriously think that this film has been one of the best I've seen out of many of the modern crap we call horror today. With only a budget of $72,000, Sheldon Wilson, the director, pulls major strings with a help of a loyal crew to pull off such great work on the finish product.
We start off encountering numerous characters that have a mysterious background. We get the feeling that someone isn't telling who they are really are and we find out later on in the film that this is true. Unity had seemed to be vanished the first hour but within the last 30 or so minutes left of the film, the pieces started coming together. Pure genious for an amateur director, especially in the horror genre. I thought the characters could have been potrayed better by more experienced actors but after finding out the budget of the film, I had to give a little to my views. We really do become aware of all the character's backgrounds except one and I didn't like this character because he had no place in the film. A random hunter shows up during the first half of the film but, later, just serves as a death candy. He contributed nothing and his present within the movie is hardly felt and his character isn't missed after he dies. The boy's character has to be the strongest. He starts to unfold as soon as we know that his blood consists of atleast three other people. After that, we start getting piece by piece and this keeps us interested. Keeps our eyes on the screen. Another character just came to mind and it's at the very end of the film but I don't want to ruin it for anyone but If anyone could figure out why this "black demon" like character is in the film, please feel free to let me know.
The story is really interesting and highly different from other films. You could call it a ghost story but there are a couple of spin off happenings within. Much related to a Harrison Ford film, What Lies Beneath, with the whole revenge scenario. Unlike that film, this film contained more physcial and gory attributes.
The "ghost" is composited of blood from a seriel killer's victims. How cool is that? What's even cooler is that parts of all the victims faces make up the boy's face. The blood acted as a seer of all seers. It showed everyones darkest hour. His blood is another character in itself moves. The special effect supervisors really did a fantastic job in making us, the viewers, think the blood is alive and can move in which ever direction.
Tons of blood is used. For a R rated film, there is enough gore. Not enough gore as in Peter Jackson gore but enough to fulfill me. I though the amount used really brought out how gruesome the film ought to be. They were extravegant with squirting blood into peoples faces or having it all over. The prosthetics for seeing people sliced open was very nicely constructed. One really nice scene is when the boy thrusts his hands into a woman's neck and starts to move his fingers around while her face becomes whithered and decays away.
The score, by Steve London, was all done for free by computer and a 72-piece orchestra. It's very stereotypical in the low-budget horror field. It's intense and constant which kept us on our toes. The sound effects on some shots were low maybe due to lack of funds that couldn't afford a better Foley artist. Who knows.
The DVD has a decent cover art but the features are scarce. The only thing worthy is a great making of segment. The transfer is decent but grainy slighty, almost unnoticable, in some places and the audio is just fine.
It's a great film to own. I highly recommend buying it or atleast renting it. You'll be surprised.
I give this film a 7 out of 10.
I give this DVD a 4 out of 10.