Thursday, January 19, 2017

Shadows Fall (2016)

Back in September I was contacted by director Aditya Vishwanath, asking if I could take some time to review their first feature film, Shadows Fall (thanks again for your patience, team!).

Always a fan of independent horror films, I was more than happy to take a look (once I had the time - second half of 2016 was insane).

Here's a short synopsis from the film's website:

"A haunting story of Senka, a young widow who confronts and answers that eternal question - what would you do for one more moment with someone that you love? Resorting to the supernatural, she makes a bargain with a demon for the life of her dead husband, Jonas. Now she must live with the price of that deal. Trapped in her once happy home, she is caught in the balance between every moment of happiness with Jonas and the terror and darkness slowly invading their lives. Yet more terrifying is the fact that Jonas is no longer the man that he was. And the only ally she may have in understanding what happened to him, may be the demon himself."

If you're thinking to yourself: Oh, I don't think this is going to turn out well for Senka, then I trust you're not one to tango with demons. Smart.

This is a cerebral slow burn, I dare say almost a melancholy waking nightmare for anyone who's felt the pains of loosing a loved one (and one's mind in the process).

The cinematography, soundtrack, and special effects were all stellar. Minimal, effective, striking, and efficient. I particularly enjoyed the dichotomy that built the house (where nearly the entire film takes place). The cold, uninviting, and mentally disjointed world where there still is hope for a safe, warm, 'perfect' home. From the See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil art down to the cold blue colors in the bedroom, this clever and haunting creation of the environment is wonderfully done.

I got absorbed in the acting - the demon and the husband particularly. Both giving me the creeps mighty well! Although I didn't connect with the character Senka as well, it still worked perfectly because she's one you might not want to buddy up with anyway. Distance worked very well in this particular situation. And here is where I see the influences of David Lynch and art house horror: nothing is as it seems, no one is quite who you think they are, and yet the story will unfold nicely but remorselessly before you.

Shadows Fall is a surprise in that it's their first feature film. The quality of the work, the dialogue (particularly between husband and wife), and wonderful attention to detail while building up the suspense, all reflect the talented artistic passion and dedication that went into creating this movie. Well done, everyone. I look forward to future projects.

This is not a film for those who are not fans of slow burn psychological thrillers that induce the sads, or anyone who's struggling to move on after the death of a loved one. Pairs with tea, eggs, and pancakes - probably all served cold.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and I really appreciate Aditya and the team for providing me the opportunity to see and review it. Again, check out their website for more information about the film, and please take a moment to check-out the trailer. 

Thanks again, and best of luck to the success of this film and to everyone's future endeavors. 

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