Carlos Antonio Leon
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reviewed this film and gave it:
One of the great many aspects of vampire films I find so appealing is that the subject always lends itself just as easily to low budget independent films as to the larger Hollywood Studios. In fact, if your only experience of vampire films are those that Warner Bros, Universal and their ilk pump out, you're missing a vast array of interesting and thoughtfull movies.
Shadowland is a quiet little film, low on budget and indeed even dialogue, but simple in the way it pulls you in to the singular mystery of a confused and frightened girl (mesmerisingly played by Caitlin McIntosh, a former semifinalist in the Miss Teen USA Pageant) who wakes to digs her way out of a grave with no memory of who (or what) she is or how she came to be buried. What is abundently clear to her though is that she's been in the grave for a long, long time, as she gradually begins to piece together flashbacks to her previous life in 1897. Bewildered by the modern world, and unable to speak due to a fresh wound on her neck, she spends the bulk of the movie a lone mysterious girl walking the streets trying to rediscover who she is. Slowly our bewildered hero begins to realise she has superstrength, and is soon in enough trouble to be running cat and mouse from a bunch of cops.
Shadowland is poetic, mesmerising and well filmed, although I rather feel we've seen its main premise all before, and so much better executed, in an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (where Buffy climbs out of her grave and walks the streets trying to remember who she is)
In fact Shadowland is less of a vampire story and more of a scared, lonely girl on the run story. As mentioned before, there's not a lot of dialogue which is just as well as the majority of the supporting acting here is fairly wooden and hokey. However Caitlin McIntosh plays her part with an enticing vulnarablity which is strong and enigmatic enough to carry the film.
The back plot is executed (again in a very Buffy like way) in historical flashbacks from 1897, which slowly builds up to provide and then finally explain the mystery of the main story. There's also an uninteresting vampire hunter called Julian (played by Jason Contini) riding around angrily in his Mini-Cooper desperately in need of a better plot.
Not a great film scriptwise, but beautifully shot, some good ideas and there's some wonderfully convincing special effects. Quite watchable and refreshingly non-Hollywood.
reviewed this film and gave it:
I kinda liked it even though nothing really happens. Special FX at the end were a surprise.
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