Scream Horror Magazine


Posted on: August 6th, 2015

Whilst the Halley comet is passing over France and becomes visible from Earth, two parents are oddly slaughtered whilst their young son Chris watches the incident. Eleven years later and Chris is suffering from anxiety whilst trying to run a business and party with potential one-night stands. As another comet flies over, Chris’ night of raving is interrupted by horrifically mutated humans with a thirst for blood and lust.

This French sci-fi horror film from Vincent Julé embraces the creature feature style whilst creating a unique story that has the potential to really wow the audience, however, Dead Shadows unfortunately has its fair share of major flaws. The first one being its lack of subtitles, rather opting for dubbed audio, which means you have to avoid any lip-eye contact, for the fear of becoming fixated on the wrong timing.

The beginning of the film is marvelously strange and gory as Chris’ parents behaviour escalates quickly from calm to enraged and unreasonable, culminating in an argument that ends with them both on a knife-edge, literally. From there you can piece together that the comet either directly transforms people into very aggressive monsters or these monsters have come from the rock and infected everyone, although it’s not clearly mentioned once. It may be a fresh and creepy idea, but the lack of even a slight explanation is disappointing and leaves you a little bewildered.

The scenes may be quite disjointed, but a few of them provided the high points by portraying how disturbing these creatures can act when procreating or infecting. One particular scene shows the rancid mutation in one partygoer as he begins to engage in sexual intercourse with an unsuspecting woman, who is rapidly consumed by the slithering, slime-covered tendril that goes in deeper than she bargained for. Gory, gross and anything but sexy, it was a brilliant example of how cringe-worthy and disgusting certain parts were to watch.

Everyone exhibits odd behaviours from the very start, which leaves an air of excitement as you expect that the weirdness can only go from bad to worse. The savage interactions become more intense, with additional alien body modifications, but the execution of the monsters is ruined by the hideous CGI used. The film would have benefitted highly from the use of practical effects because we all know monster movies succeed when the creature is realistic and believable.

Dead Shadows has many aspects that make it an enjoyable, brutally grim and individual film, but due to copious plot holes that cannot be overlooked, the completely fragmented narrative (compiled of several gory scenes and random dialogue sections) and an absolutely dire ending it just doesn’t reach the mark of other similar films.

Depending on your mood, you might feel like indulging into the black hole of octopus infused zombies that like feeding on blood and fucking, but beware you won’t quite know the reasons for the carnage or what the hell is happening.

Words: Zoe Rose Smith (@ZoeRoseSmitz)

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