Ghosts, Supernatural, Thriller

Shadow People (2013)

0 Comments 17 April 2013

Studio: Anchor Bay shadow people

Blu Ray Release: March 19, 2013

Director: Mathew Arnold


Review by James Klein

It just kills me to see an interesting concept in a film just fall apart. You know those type of movies: the idea or premise is really neat or original and slowly, as the film goes from the first act to the second act, the feeling of dread creeps over you in that the film is just not going to get any better and in fact, could get worse. That’s exactly what happens to Shadow People, a supernatural thriller that is supposedly based on a true story.

Late night D.J. Charlie Crowe (Dallas Roberts, most known for his small role on The Walking Dead) just doesn’t seem to have the perfect life. With a divorced wife who hates him, yet he still wears her wedding ring to a son who shows no interest in him, Charlie is a loser and doesn’t seem to show any interest in changing. Even his refrigerator is bare and empty, much like his life. One night Charlie gets a phone call on the air of a teenage boy who says that shadows are chasing him when he sleeps. As Charlie talks to the boy, a gun shot is heard and sure enough, the teen has taken his own life. Traumatized, Charlie starts to uncover clues as to why the teen committed suicide and soon finds out about Sudden Unexplained Nocturnl Death Syndrome. This is a real phenomenon where regular, healthy people die mysteriously in their sleep or claim that some sort of entity is terrorizing them during sleep.

While Charlie becomes obsessed with this new found research and only speaks about it on his radio show, prompting higher ratings a CDC investigator (Alison Eastwood, Clint’s daughter) is called in to see if Charlie is telling the truth or if he’s full of shit. Eastwood’s role is so small and almost pointless, I wish they never even introduced this character and continued to focus on Charlie and his madness and obsession.

While I love the concept of people dying in their sleep and a man investigating these people’s deaths to the point of falling apart, the movie is just slow moving and at times downright boring. What ruins the film for me are these supposed “real” interviews of people in Charlie’s life as well as interviews with the real life Charlie. I never bought this. I think these interviews were done by other actors and that this “true story” is complete crap. Maybe I should look it up and see if my claims are true but I don’t care enough about the film to even do so. If it is true, the film makers did a lousy job in making me believe. It’s nice that they tried to do something different in the story-telling but it fails miserably.

The blu ray looks fine but I did notice a bit DNR during a few of the night sequences. The film is purposely desaturated of colors so don’t expect the brightest picture. The 5.1 TrueHD Dolby sounded just as fine, with nothing sticking out but everything sounding just as it should. The only special feature is this 12 minute, boring as hell interview with two men who talk about Sudden Unexplained Nocturnl Death Syndrome. Like the film itself, this featurette is a snoozefest.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

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