Shadow Puppets (2007) Strip Down For Your Shadow October 11, 2019 08:00
What could possibly be worse than waking up and not knowing who you are, where you are or what's going on? Well probably all those combined with being half naked in the padded room of a deserted mental institution, with a shadow creature hunting you down... that could be worse.
Shadow Puppets is made up of a substantial cult cast of TV actors, Jolene Blalock (Star Trek: Enterprise), James Marsters (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Tony Todd (Candyman) and Natasha Alam (True Blood). The story opens up introducing the characters as they awake to find themselves imprisoned in an abandoned mental hospital. The catch is they don't remember anything prior to waking up and the condition of their "prison" seems to suggest anyone who might have been running the establishment are now long gone, or worse... dead. But these individuals are not alone, a demonic dark shadow stalks them among the corridors, and they must join forces to find a way of escape before they all die!
Shadow Puppets is a small step above SyFy Channel original quality, but what really surprised me is it doesn't end up being the typical awful direct to DVD horror film I expected it to be. With no scares and limited blood, this film really ought to be regarded as more of a supernatural thriller, than horror, but it does share an affinity for horrible dialogue and extreme nonsense that come with the low budget horror genre.
What Shadow Puppets does best is setup a descent twist at the end that I wasn't expecting. Does it make a whole lot of sense...not really... but I have to give the writers credit for trying and compared to the majority of the film its by far the best written part. Most of the film is littered with poorly written dialogue and character assumptions, like Marsters' tells Jolene to take her clothes off because the monster will be less attracted to them if they're in their underwear! This "logic" is repeated several other times throughout the film but never seems to prove very accurate and only serves as an excuse to get Jolene back in her underwear (which I'm not complaining about).
Overall, I found the little over 90 minute run-time to move quite fast and Shadow Puppets turned out to be a pretty decent direct to DVD horror (or thriller) which probably finds most of it's highs in Jolene Blalock and model Natasha Alam walking around half the film in their underwear (with Alam, who would go onto a brief stint on True Blood and pose for Playboy three years later, showing a bit more in one scene). Plot wise the story does manage to "shadow" enough mystery that it should also keep you interested the entire time, and while it may be full of campy dialogue and plot holes its not that bad of a film for it's budget and form of release.