Ever since you were
a little kid, you were probably freaked out by what was moving--or
what looked like it was moving--in your bedroom at night. That's
the joy of "Shadow Puppets", taking the worst of the
fear of the unknown and packaging it into movie form.
Not to give too much
away, but several people find themselves trapped in an abandoned
insane asylum. They have no idea who they are, where they came
from, or what they're doing whereever it is they are. So, when
they start gathering together in an attempt to find their way
out and recover their lost memories, it's not going to be too
much of a surprise that a lot of them will start dying. And now,
they have to not only get out, but also get out alive.
You've got to hand
it to "Shadow Puppets" for immediately throwing us headlong
into a set of circumstances that make absolutely no sense. Wake
up locked in a padded room where the only furnishing is a mattress
and suddenly the lights go out? Man, I'd be freaked out too, and
I'm only just watching it.
A normal problem I
have with horror movies is that it takes entirely too long to
actually get into the action. Interestingly, "Shadow Puppets"
has that problem, taking fully a fifth of the movie to even suggest
anybody is in any kind of clear and present danger, and nearly
a third of the movie for a body to hit the floor. But, due to
the spectacular levels of suspense and ominous foreshadowing built
up beforehand, I genuinely fail to notice how long it took for
anything to happen. Which is, frankly, amazing. A lot of movies
with a lot of similar formulae make for a lot of boring experiences.
But "Shadow Puppets", for all its slow, building subtlety,
does not bore me.
There's a lot of action,
a great and not overly long buildup, a monster straight out of
childrens' nightmares since time immemorial, and almost as much
suspense as action. This adds up to make for one thrilling movie,
probably the first genuine thrill I've had from a movie in quite
The ending has plenty
of twists to it, and some of the best action sequences I've seen
lately. There's also an excellent sequence where the metaphorical
flag drops, announcing the start of the closing action. It's a
great sequence, and frankly, I find it improves the whole thing.
And though one might be tempted to cry foul with the very end,
this is really only very minor, and given the events leading up
to it was really the only feasible end.
The special features
include audio options, cast and crew commentary, and trailers
for "Shadow Puppets", "The Thirst", "Voodoo
Moon", "Room 6", "Behind the Mask: The Rise
of Leslie Vernon", and "Hatchet".
All in all, "Shadow
Puppets" is a real surprise, and proves to be horror as it
ought to be. And though its only real flaw is an ending that could
possibly be called trite, very little should stand in the way
of enjoying this movie.
Directed by Michael Winnick
Written by Michael Winnick
Starring Jolene Blalock, Tony Todd, James Marsters, Marc Winnick
Produced by Bob Crowe
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