Disclaimer: My reviews of media here do not mean that I lay any claim to the media in question. All reviews are entirely subjective. I may talk about how well the movie objectively works in my opinion, but it essentially all comes down to what I think of the movie. My liking a movie is not the same as thinking it's a great movie. If I trash a movie that you love, or love a movie you can’t stand, it’s not because I hate you. Also, all reviews are likely to contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen the movies in question and don’t want to know what happens, then you probably shouldn’t be reading about them here. Finally, a blanket trigger warning for people who don't want to read about common horror movie content such as sexism, racism, violence, etc.: I will likely discuss all of the above when they show up in the films I review, so please tread with caution. Check out this post for more on how my reviews are set up.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Horror Movie Quick Review: Shadow Puppets (2007)

Overall: C-

Directed by:
Michael Winnick

James Marsters
Tony Todd
Marc Winnick
Jolene Blalock

Shadow Puppets is the story of eight seemingly random people who wake up in an abandoned asylum, none of them with any memory of how they got there. As they meet up with each other, they begin to search for a way out. But there’s some kind of sentient shadow monster lurking, which is hunting them and picking them off. They find a machine apparently used in experiments on erasing memories, and they rightly figure that since the machine was used eight times, it must have been used on them. [Reasonably minor spoilers] But when they find a ninth stranger in a coma, they realize that one of them has not had their memories erased, and that person must be the one behind everything. And so the traitor in the group is discovered and begins trying to kill everyone. [End spoilers]

This movie suffered the most from having way too many characters introduced in way too short a period of time. And because they don’t learn their names until halfway or more through the film, I was just giving them insulting nicknames the entire film, because otherwise I had no way to tell who was who.
The story starts off somewhat intriguing, with the strangers in the asylum, wondering what their pasts hold and why the building seems abandoned… but as soon as the (poorly animated) Shadow shows up, it just gets somewhat… silly. Its presence is never really explained (or rather, the explanation makes no sense.) If the pseudo-monster had been removed in favor of focusing just on the idea of the science experiment on their memories, it would have been an improvement. And anyway, most of the characters get little individual screentime outside of our mains, so when they’re killed and in danger it didn’t resonate any with me.
There are also several small but silly inconsistencies (things as simple as the characters constantly complaining that they’re freezing, but never wrapping themselves in the sheets they all have from the beds they awoke in.)
The movie was okay, but it started far better than it finished, and had more than a few moments that were unintentionally funny out of sheer ridiculousness.

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