There are many movies that Scream Factory’s “Dead Shadows” lovingly tips a hat to during the course of the film. John Carpenter’s The Thing, Night of the Comet, and Brian Yuzna’s Society are just a few that first time Director David Cholewa has seemed to have singled out and when he adds a healthy dose of Lovecraftian horror it melds together in something horror film fans have been clamoring for around the world. Now please don’t get me wrong, when I say he tips his hat to those other films I don’t want anyone to think perhaps I mean he is stealing from those films, Dead Shadows is wholly an original apocalyptic film.
Dead Shadows stars Fabian Wolfrom as Chris, a young man with a pretty intense fear of the darkness. Not that he doesn’t have a reason for suffering from Nyctophobia as we learn from the beginning of the film, a young Chris witnesses his Father murder his Mother. 11 years later we see that Chris literally needs to be bathed in light or he finds himself hit with crippling anxiety attacks.
While Chris merely wants to be left alone and stay in his apartment as much as possible, he still has to interact with the outside world on occasion and this is how we meet his neighbors, John (John Fallon of Saw II and Death Race), and Claire (Blandine Marmigère). John seems to have just returned from afar and definitely has a stake in the local drug trade and Claire is an artist with a bad taste in men.
Like 11 years prior there is a comet approaching the Earth and the media is giving dire predictions from the end of the world to satellite and cell phone outages, could this be an omen for Chris considering what happened the last time a comet came near?
Heck, yes. Claire invites Chris to the ‘End of the World’ party she is throwing and reluctantly the young man agrees to show up as her date. Once he arrives at the party we viewers are subjected to some pretty interesting and grisly sights, bordering on fever dream levels. This film is unrated for good reason, in one particular scene during the party involving a guy and girl hooking up I almost did a spit take. For you gore hounds out there you won’t be disappointed by some of the bodily disfiguring mutations that take place during Dead Shadows.
Not to go too much further as to avoid specific spoilers but perhaps those fears the media were reporting aren’t due to hysteria. As the night drags on Chris finds he is one of the few people in the city that hasn’t been mutated, which forces the young man to team up with John in an attempt to find a place of safety from the creatures now wandering the streets and possibly to get to Claire.
Though gentle Chris might have a secret or two up his sleeves…he may be the hero for this new world, for good or bad.
Dead Shadows will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday April 29. It’s a nice new horror flick with some definite 80s styling as I mentioned above and while it’s a low budget film it’s more than remarkable the quality of the effects that the film is able to provide. If I had one complaint it would be the running time, at 75 minutes it’s on the lean side but it tells it’s tale and I hope we will get the opportunity to see more from the world of Dead Shadows in the future.