The French indie-scifi/horror film Dead Shadows is a good concept that’s unfortunately not well told. For such a small budget, it is ambitious in scope. A comet soaring over Paris is causing doomsdayers to take to the streets in protests or parties. Enter the doe-eyed Chris, a tech support phone specialist who’s medically-diagnosed as being afraid of the dark, and invited by his pretty neighbor to an End of the World party. Against his better judgement, he ventures out just as the world falls apart in a very Lovecraftian way (featuring freaky things with tentacles and claws).
For such a short running time, 75 minutes, the movie spends half it’s time trying to establish one character, and then comes the nonsensical and completely unexplained horror as humans start transforming into mutants. This is where the movie goes off the rails. What follows is a series of random but cool looking, almost wordless scenes that don’t add up to a story. It’s also maddening when this scrawny kid has a samurai sword and a plethora of automatic weapons at his disposal yet chooses to fight back with two bats instead. Irreverent, or thoroughly implausible? Maybe the apocalypse doesn’t have to make sense, but a film about it does.
To call this film blithely incoherent would be generous, but the visuals are worth a look as a vague reference to the Cthulhu Mythos. It’s obvious that this is director’s David Cholewa’s first film, but he does show incredible potential and good eye for cosmic horror.
DEAD SHADOWS - Official Trailer from CESAR DUCASSE on Vimeo.