New On Demand from Red Water Entertainment!

SHADOWS (2022)

Directed by Carlo Lavagna.
Written by Damiano Bruè, Fabio Mollo, Vanessa Picciarelli.
Starring Mia Threapleton, Lola Petticrew, Saskia Reeves
Find out more about this film here!!

Alma (Mia Threapleton) and her sister Alex (Lola Petticrew) live in an abandoned hotel in the middle of a thick forest. Their mother (Saskia Reeves) is cautious and overprotective, fearful of the sun and the land off the property of the hotel grounds. Alma and Alex are allowed out during the nighttime but are warned that the sun causes people to “pop” and that’s not the only dangers to be found in the surrounding woods. But as Alma and Alex grow closer to adulthood, their urge to test boundaries and the outside world threaten to break the strict rules of Mother.

SHADOWS is a story of parenthood taken to the nth degree. Mother is fearful that everything will hurt those she holds dear and tells tales of all kinds of horrors that come out during the daytime. Alma believes her, but the rambunctious Alex is less gullible and longs to see what is out there. While this film takes place after some catastrophic event, at its emotional core, it is a story of how all parents try their best to protect their children. It’s also about paranoia, loneliness, and desperation, themes that are often explored in these post-apocalyptic tales, but few done so with such careful emotional attention as SHADOWS does.

The emotional strength comes from the powerful acting put forth by the two leading ladies, Mia Threapleton and Lola Petticrew who deliver heart-wrenching performances as Alma and Alex. Their close relationship seems to be the only thing keeping their minds intact in this strict and confining environment Mother has placed them in. While the cause of the horrors outside and what exactly those horrors are prove to be unclear, what is evident is the two girls’ desire to see what is out there in the world for themselves. It’s a classic tale of rebellion that occurs anytime teenagers are mixed with rules and Threapleton and Petticrew intricately illustrate those complex emotions of weighing caution with curiosity. I guarantee we will not see the last of these two young actresses. Their opposition, Mother holds her secrets close to her and Saskia Reeves is able to convey manic overprotectiveness one minute and tender care the next in a complex role that makes you both love and hate, yet still understand her actions.

SHADOWS is heavy on the drama. It’s a coming-of-age story set in a paranoid and apocalyptic situation where survival is the main goal of all. While it was most definitely made on a tight budget with a three-person cast, the films packs a lot of dramatic power along with a heavy sense of dread and paranoia. While I found the ending to be a pretty easy guess; given clues peppered through the story and the fact that I’ve seen a million and one films of this sort, I still enjoyed the trek through SHADOWS and recommend it for those who like the terrors subtle, emotional, and psychological.
Check out the trailer here!!