29th Apr2020

‘Among the Shadows’ Review

by Chris Thomas

Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Charlotte Beckett, Gianni Capaldi, Dominik Madani, Reynald Biales, Barry Jay Minoff | Written by Mark Morgan | Directed by Tiago Mesquita

There is surely a market for an Underworld B-movie knock off, even a badly made one…. Is what I thought before I saw Among the Shadows. The film mashes the Underworld vampires and werewolves conflict idea with some hardboiled detective nonsense – the fit and healthy young lady is actually a grizzled old, alchy gumshoe.. with narration, whiskey, the whole thing.

We are in the near future (sure, why not), and in the “United States of Europe” thanks to Brexit, apparently. Kicking off, with quite the prankster uncle Harry calling his young, attractive niece to tell her he had been shot… her reaction implies she gets a lot of calls like this from him (possibly at 3am with uncle Harry breathing heavily and crying loudly).

The mugging of poor uncle Harry – who is shot with a silver bullet – sadly prompts mockery. As does the attack of two lady muggers. What follows these events is tedious, lacking in personality and looks like it was shot in a nightclub. There are ways that clever filmmakers can mitigate their tiny budgets when it comes to action scenes, here the action looks incredibly silly. There is a line “Son of a bitch! I wish I could have killed him myself!” which comes from the very nice, well brought up English lady miscast as the grizzled avenger. It would be funnier, were I not so bored.

Lindsay Lohan appears! Miscast as the wife of the President of Europe… and a vampire! She also has a very husky voice. Fingers crossed she can kick the smoking at some point.

Sadly Among the Shadows is bad, not just the dull archetype characters or the dull plot, the slightly off script but the camera work, the charmless cast. I found the film very hard to get through. It is just such a dreary chore to sit and watch. I have never cared so little about what happens to the characters in a film. As Among the Shadows tries to keep the tension humming along, I feel like there is a roller-coaster going, but a really, really rubbish one. I am not even on the roller-coaster, I am not “in this” I am just watching disinterested and unimpressed from the ground as it makes it’s predictable and plodding twists and turns, I am not invested one bit.

Toward the end, and for little reason, some poor actress has to endure a full shot of her privates before she straddles an old man. It is an entirely inappropriate scene that adds nothing to the film and makes me feel uncomfortable. The revelations are so obvious as to cause a bemused shrug; and as the finale comes and despite the thin gruel we have just sat through, the arc of the film is unresolved. An unsatisfying, ‘NOT’ end to a deeply unsatisfying film.

If you are in the market for a vampire action romp watch Blade or Blade 2. If you are in the market for a semi-incomprehensible vampire film with an attractive young lady jumping around in tight leather, then Underworld will fit the bill. If you are interested in a shonky, camp horror schlockfest then Among the Shadows makes The Demonologist suddenly looks like an interesting proposition!

Among the Shadows is available on DVD and Digital in the US now. The film is currently scheduled for a UK DVD release on June 8th 2020, courtesy of High Fliers Films.

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