SHADOWS LIGHT (2008)
-Review by Nic Brown-
Free will, self determination, call it what you want - it means the right every human has to choose. In Stephen Zimmer’s SHADOWS LIGHT, the question becomes one of will you serve light or darkness? The film opens with a scene reminiscent of THE EXORCIST, as a priest, Father Abelard (Thomas Phillips), fights to free a young woman from demonic possession. He succeeds, but the battle of wills leaves him drained physically and spiritually.
Abelard is a young priest, but he’s also the Church’s best agent for fighting possessions and demons, so they grant him time off to go back to his home town and relax for a few weeks and regain his strength. While on vacation, he meets Dana Fontaine (Tucky Williams) and is drawn in to helping Dana try to free her sister Evan (Jessica Kline) from the influences of Ashton Legares (John Schroering). Legares is not just an evil man, he is one of the “perfectly possessed”. These are people who have not only given in to demonic possession, but have embraced it as a part of themselves in an effort to gain worldly power. This makes him a more than formidable opponent for Father Abelard, especially since Legares is not alone. He is joined by Lily Morgan (Cynthia L. Allen) another of the perfectly possessed who drains victims of their life force leaving them aged and dying. Even with the help of a warrior angel come to earth, it may be too late for Father Abelard and Dana to do anything to save Evan from a fate worse than death.
SHADOWS LIGHT is a story of the classic battle of good versus evil. Zimmer creates some interesting characters in the story and gives some new energy to concept by adding a third race to the mix of angels and demons: the Djinn (genies from Arabic folklore). The Djinn are typically neutral in the war between light and darkness, but they possess powers equal to the other two groups and more importantly, a free will to choose how and if they intervene in the struggle.
Zimmer’s film has a number of things working for it including solid performances from Tucky Williams, and Jessica Kline as two of the lead characters in the story. It also has some above average special effects which include CGI and traditional make-up. However, the story does drag at times and although the mythos for the angels and demons is well thought out overall, it is sometimes confusing. The film is also let down by the “climactic” battle. Up until this point the effects used for the feature were good and not over the top. However, the creature effects for the film’s ultimate evil are disappointing by comparison to the rest of the film and reminded me of a 1950’s “Attack of the insert monster name here” film. Still SHADOWS LIGHT is an enjoyable film to watch if you can get past the confusion and the rubber suit/puppet at the end. So check out SHADOWS LIGHT and remember, if you do, it was because you chose to of your own free will!