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Shadow (2009)

  Tags: backwoods, Federico Zampaglione, italian, Shadow, survival

Your rating: None Average: 6 (1 vote)
Reviewer Rating: 
6

shadowposter.jpg
Rating #: 
6/10
Director: 
Federico Zampaglione
Runtime: 
90 minutes
Cast: 
Nuot Arquint, Ottaviano Blitch, Gianpiero Cognoli, Chris Coppola, Emilio De Marchi, Jake Muxworthy, Matt Patresi, Karina Testa


I recently attended S+F 2009 sci-fi/horror film festival held in Trieste, city located in the north east of Italy. With main guests such as genre legends Christopher Lee and Roger Corman, the festival screened quite a good selection of horror movies. Earlier that day I attended a panel on the new wave of Italian horror movies (or better say lack of it) and was intrigued by director Federico Zampaglione, who invited us all to attend the evening Italian premiere of his movie Shadow.

Zampaglione, successful singer of popular Italian band Tiromancino, had plans to do his first horror movie together with Dario Argento, but they were both busy at that time, so he decided to go his own way and work on Shadow.

While this movie is an Italian production, because of various financial reasons, it was decided to shoot it with (mostly) English speaking cast. The movie is about a young soldier who just came from active duty in Iraq and decided to relax from horrors of war by mountain biking in beautiful woods of an unnamed eastern European country. During his adrenaline rush drives over scenic mountains, he meets a fellow biker Angeline. They decide to carry on biking  together, but come across a mean duo of local hunters and soon become their prey.

I didn't watch a horror movie premiere in a cinema for a long time. I almost forgot how interesting is to mingle with the cast and enjoy the discussion about every possible aspect of the movie. After the movie was shown, the audience was not shy to applaud Zampaglione. This wasn't a matter of supporting your local director - the movie was quite good.

What I loved the most about "Shadow" was its atmosphere - the movie was stunningly shot and the director successfully played with the audience by dipping its plot into different horror sub-genres. First you think it is a classic survival movie, than you got a glimpse of a ghostly happenings and afterwards a touch of, now popular, torture porn. The latter gets just a couple of minutes of screen time, which I found satisfying, as the movie started up really good and I didn't want it to morph into a classic torture type of a flick. As Zampaglione is a big fan of Dario Argento, you the movie also packs a solid amount of giallo elements

The acting overall could have been much better - I am sorry to say that the two leads were subpar, which definitely took its toll on the overall quality of the movie.

Besides shoddy acting and an already-seen-it twist based movie finale, I quite enjoyed "Shadow". It has a good pace, wonderful visuals and one of the most eerie bad guys I have seen on screen in a while. Good to see something positive happening in Italian horror scene!

Posted on December 21, 2009 - 9:55pm | BK

 

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