By Ilaria Cutolo
From the Shadows is dubbed “a supernatural horror film” that follows paranormal debunker Dr. Amara Rowan (Selena Anduze) and five members of a cult who survive a fire that kills 18 other members of the Hidden Wisdom cult, including their enigmatic leader Dr. Joseph Cawl (Bruce Davison). When the surviving members enlist Dr. Rowan’s help in proving their innocence for not causing the blaze, they must also grapple with the disappearance of their leader’s partner, Dr. Leonard Bertram (Keith David), who ultimately seeks vengeance upon the remaining members.
This movie takes place via a Zoom-like platform where the main characters interact, attempting to convince a skeptical Dr. Rowan that they indeed have powers but are also innocent of their supposed crime. One by one, we witness the remaining cult members fall victim to a despicable and grotesque Dr. Bertram as he supernaturally visits them, turning this into a modern-day “FaceTime” version of a Nightmare on Elm Street. This movie borrows heavily from the over-saturated cult documentary genre that has come about since COVID-19, and, with the online platform element central to the plot, it felt contrived.
Unlike the classic 1980s horror flicks with their well-timed jump scares, suspense, character arches, and cheesy humor, this movie lacked all that. It brought on the gore but failed to pull me in and keep my breath abated. It may have to do with the “Zoom” screen element, creating an additional layer for me as an audience member/viewer. If that extra layer had not been there, the story could have felt more convincing. I was not invested in the characters at any point in the movie. The disconnect kept me from suspending my disbelief and was like hopping onto an online meeting with a group of strangers as a passive observer.
This film may have more appeal for the teen and pre-teen set, especially for this coming Halloween. If, however, you are looking for a horror flick with some substance, then a Wes Craven or John Carpenter flick may be more to your liking.
From the Shadows. Starring: Bruce Davison; Selena Anduze; . Directed by Mike Sargent; Written by Mike Kuciak; Story by Ian Holt, Mark Sargent, and Mike Kuciak; Special effects make-up by Vincent James Gaustini; Sound Design by Cecelia Hall; Score by Alan Howarth; Produced by Michael Alden, Mike Kuciak, and Ian Holt. Alt House Productions. www.FromTheShadowsFilm.com
From The Shadows is produced by Michael Alden, Ian Holt, and Mike Kuciak of Alt-House Productions in partnership with PFG Films. Special Effects makeup is designed by Vincent J. Guastini, with sound design by Academy Award® winner Cecelia Hall. The film’s score is composed by horror legend, Alan Howarth, who collaborated with John Carpenter on the scores of classics such as “Halloween,” “They Live,” “Prince Of Darkness,” and “Escape From New York.”
The official trailer is available here.