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Shadow Puppets (2007)

Originally Written
Sunday, November 25, 2007

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 waking up 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 actors, namely Jolene Blalock (Star Trek: Enterprise), James Marsters (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) and Tony Todd (Candyman), following them as they awake to find themselves imprisoned in an old 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 find out what's going on in order to find an escape, before they all die.

Shadow Puppets is only a small step above a Sci-Fi Channel original, but what really surprised me is it doesn't end up being the typical awful science fiction horror film I expected it to be. With no scares and limited blood, this film really ought to be looked at as more of a science fiction thriller, than horror, but it does share an affinity for horrible dialogue and extreme nonsense that most horrors do seem to love. But even with the terrible dialogue and sketchy story this film had enough to keep me interested.

What Shadow Puppets does best is setup a descent twist at the end that I definitely wasn't expecting. Does it make a whole lot of sense...maybe not... but I have to give the writers credit for trying. It's also by far the best written part of the film, whether or not that says much, but the rest of the film is littered with poorly written dialogue and character assumptions that make absolutely no sense. For example, Marsters character tells Jolene to take her clothes off because the monster will be less attracted to them if they're in their underwear! This is then repeated several other times in the film but since the monster continues to chase them equally as much I was unable to see the logic in this, other than the fact that it got Jolene back in her underwear (which I think was the whole point and not necessarily a negative point of the film).

Overall, I found the little over 90 minute run-time to actually move quite fast and Shadow Puppets turned out to be a pretty descent 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. While that's definitely not a low point of the film, the story does manage to "shadow" enough mystery that it should also keep you interested the entire time. In the end, Shadow Puppets may be full of campy dialogue and plot holes but even due to it's many faults it's really not that bad of a film for it's budget and form of release.

Available on DVD


7/10


2 comments:

  1. a 7? hmmmm. I've never heard of this movie, and I'm very picky when it comes to science fiction horror films so maybe I'll pass. Butif I catch it on tv one day, maybe I'll give it a look.

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  2. It's a 7 compared to other direct to DVD releases of a similar nature. This film is basically a B-Movie so it's rated how I rate the Mills Creek films which is pretty much on entertainment value alone, otherwise it would be lower. Don't in anyway think I'm comparing this film to say State of Play which I gave an 8. I compare it to other B-Movies.

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