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No synopsis for Shadow People.
For more about Shadow People and the Shadow People Blu-ray release, see Shadow People Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 19, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Dallas Roberts, Mariah Bonner
» See full cast & crew
Shadow People Blu-ray Review
Believe in the boogeyman? Prepare to die.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 19, 2013
They are only stories.
Hooray for a movie that at least tries to put a new spin on an old Horror routine, thumbs down for not doing much with it, and yawn for another mostly predictable ride through PG-13 Horror-ville. Shadow People tries really hard to shake up the routine of both the watered down teen-friendly formula Horror and the "found footage" angles both, but the end result is a fairly shallow, predictable, sometimes downright dull and painfully slow Thriller/Chiller about how man's perception of the world around him can be the difference between life and death. The film aims for some social commentary on the place of technology and the fallibility of the human mind to believe anything and everything posted on the Internet or "made true" through extensive word of mouth, but despite its best efforts Shadow People largely succumbs to the laziness of convenience, tossing aside all the good ideas and noble intentions for classic jump scares and sharp musical cues that serve only to make audiences leap from their seats, not truly frighten them down to their very essence.
Late night radio talk show host Charlie Crowe (Dallas Roberts) is a divorced father of one. His program doesn't draw in too many listeners but little does he know that he's about to become the center of a worldwide phenomenon. When he receives a call from a troubled young man named "Jeff," Charlie brushes off his concerns as those of another kook. Jeff, however, leaves a mysterious package at Charlie's house and calls his show again, this time obviously fearful and claiming to be armed. Then, a single gunshot rings out over the airwaves. Charlie cuts to commercial, but the word is out: there's been a possible suicide live on the air. The story spreads like wildfire. Charlie's show becomes a sensation, and the details around Jeff's on-air craze become all the rage. Soon, talk of "shadow people" dominate the airwaves. As Charlie begins to dig deeper into the truth, he unearths a reality he cannot believe that centers on the power of the mind to heal the body -- or destroy it.
Shadow People opens with this text blurb: "The following motion picture is based on an actual case of mysterious deaths and the viral video known as "Sleep Study GR16 1971." Whatever. These movies that purportedly base themselves on "real" facts are just as dismal as those that promise only fiction from the outset. Shadow People does attempt something unique, however, playing "real" documentary footage alongside the fictional recreation made for dramatic effect. For example, audiences will watch the adventures of protagonist Charlie Crowe, played by Dallas Roberts, and then see footage of the "real" Charlie Crowe either individually or, sometimes, side-by-side with the fictional recreation. It's a decent idea; the problem is that there's no life to it. The movie is so slathered in cliché, whether those phony scare scenes, the moody talk radio shots, the bland family struggles, or the requisite expert sidekick that it can never escape the doldrums of the PG-13 Horror landscape and forge a new path towards something a little more lively and memorable.
In many ways the movie will remind audiences of The Ring. The premise is similar but not exactly identical. It's more about how the human mind perceives something rather than some real evil spirit that exists solely within the confines of the material being watched. Again, it's a case of Shadow People finding its own unique little slice of originality in the sea of copycats and junk cinema, but never quite shifting into the higher gear necessary to really take advantage of that extra innovative power. It's a watchable little movie, though, not a rewarding experience but good enough to scrape on by on its ideas alone, no matter how unevenly they may be executed. The performances are fine; Dallas Roberts nicely slips into character and plays his part well, casting his own shadowy, mysterious figure up on the screen. He does the whole "slow descent into madness" thing quite well, and the performance finds its best when his Charlie finds himself literally frightened of his own shadow, sitting alone in his recently emptied house, forcing himself awake and terrified out of his mind. It's too bad the rest of the movie just can't find that same level of fear that Roberts captures in that moment.
Shadow People Blu-ray, Video Quality
Shadow People's high definition transfer sometimes struggles but oftentimes shines. It takes on a very cold, bleak, deliberately gray and largely bland appearance. The smooth HD video texture adds to the sense of lifelessness and despair that runs through the film. A few vibrant colors dot the landscape and show off the transfer's proficiency and ability to produce more natural hues on demand; some leafy greens in the early Cambodia sequence really pop. Details are quite solid, too. The smooth video texturing may have an inorganic quality to it, but revealed are tip-top facial textures and razor-sharp images all around. There is some banding, shimmering, and a few soft shots all scattered throughout. Blacks are a touch bright and sometimes very noisy -- a dark Cambodian exterior in particular -- but never too distracting otherwise. This isn't reference material, but Anchor Bay has provided a steady HD image that should satisfy most viewers.
Shadow People Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Shadow People haunts Blu-ray with a proficient Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. The early Cambodian sequence springs to life with some fantastic ambient effects that do well to place the listening audience in the middle of the environment. The entire stage yields some noisy insects and other natural ambient effects. It's the film's most sonically active scene, but little touches like a knock at the door, where applicable, also play with a nice sense of spacing and immersion. Musical clarity is satisfactory, spacing is fine, and there's a positive low end support element to the score. The big jump scare music is delivered with a good, swift, organic feel at high volume. Elsewhere, some of the deeper bass supporting the horror moments comes across as very loud but rattly and messy rather than tight and natural. Dialogue is fine, playing crisply from the center.
Shadow People Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Shadow People contains only one supplement. 'Shadow People:' More to the Story (HD, 12:34) shows additional interview clips with two people discussing the ideas in the movie.
Shadow People Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Shadow People is an imperfect film, but one that nobly tries to do something different with a stale premise. It takes the "found footage" and "based on real events" Horror clichés and tries to find another way to present them, but the end result is still a watered down picture that aims to scare its audience through sharp musical cues. There are no real, deep-down, hair-raising scares in the movie, but it does find a pretty fair performance from its lead actor who captures the essence of the "slow descent into madness" thing quite nicely. It's not a fresh movie, but it's not as rotten as most others of its kind. Anchor Bay's Blu-ray release of Shadow People features decent video and good audio. Only one supplement is included. Rent it.
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Shadow People Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Shadow People Blu-ray - January 3, 2013
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment will bring to Blu-ray director Matthew Arnold's supernatural thriller Shadow People (2012), starring Dallas Roberts, Alison Eastwood and Anne Dudek. The release will be available for purchase online and in stores across the nation ...
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