After a horrible childhood event, Adam decided to leave his hometown and his mother and brother behind. When his mother goes missing, he reluctantly returns to his hometown with his new wife and child to help find her. Upon returning, Adam discovers something’s not quite right with his brother, or with anyone in town for that matter – starting with the revelation that his mother apparently belonged to a cult led by a teenage boy, and things only get weirder from there. As the days pass, Adam begins to realize his brother and mother’s friends don’t seem too upset at the thought of their mother being missing, and seem more interested in Adam and his wife and child. Soon, he discovers why.
Actually, that’s a lie. “Soon” implies his discovery of the truth is just around the corner, when in fact we don’t actually know what’s going on until the last 15 minutes of the movie. I’m not exaggerating. I was an hour into the movie when I realized, “Holy crap, I’m an hour into the movie? What’s going on?” and I was no wiser to the plot than when I began watching the film. “Well, maybe you just weren’t paying attention” you might say. All right, I shall explain to you the events that unfolded in the film leading up to the ending and see if you can decipher a congruent story to follow. The opening scene of the film takes place 100 years prior to the rest of the film and depicts men confronting a woman who had just given birth and was trying to hide her baby from them, presumably out of safety for the baby. Jump to present time. You might be thinking that scene plays an important role somewhere down the line in the movie. You’re wrong. That scene is not referenced or shown again, and I can only conclude they began filming another movie and immediately decided to start filming this one.
The title character appears to be the “Shadowman” however I only recall seeing him a handful of times, only one of which where he actually influenced the story. He’s mainly displayed in the background or in dreams, if I recall correctly, and none of those scenes showed him sleeping, so I’m not sure how he had to be “awakened” as the title proclaims. After watching the movie, I still have no clue who the Shadowman is or what purpose he serves, but he didn’t physically interact with anyone until the final scene of the movie in which he takes Adam’s baby and disappears into a wall. The main focus of the film appears to be on Adam and his family, and his wife’s slow progression into being brainwashed by the people of the town. This begins with a random, awkward scene in which Adam’s brother’s wife appears to start hitting on Adam’s wife in a pseudo lesbian attempt that no one saw coming. Nothing manifests from it, but as the movie comes to a close I assume that scene was just a way to try and seduce Adam’s wife into joining the cult, which apparently worked.
The confusion of the plot is not helped by inappropriate chimes and tones played throughout each scene of the movie. I don’t know who was in charge of the music but it was like someone had access to two sound bytes and decided to create an entire soundtrack out of just those musical notes. It doesn’t take a genius to realize a scene in which a character is having a menial conversation won’t have the same mood as a scene in which a character is running for their life, so why would you use the same musical notes? It comes across as cheesy and amateur and was barely tolerable, but I endured. You only need watch the first 15 minutes of the movie to discover the acting caliber and quality of the film. When the acting isn’t believable then I’m completely taken out of the movie and I don’t care what happens to the characters involved. When you have people reciting lines without emotion or emphasis, the end result is unbelievable and boring.
In the final 15 minutes of the film, we discover Adam’s mother was around the whole time in hiding with her cult friends – of which his brother and now wife belong – and they have taken his child to give to the Shadowman. Apparently, the teenage boy who leads the cult is immortal and they are known for causing horrible things to happen to people, only to promise to restore their lives in exchange for their children. The cult succeeds in stealing his baby and the Shadowman disappears with it into the wall. The final scene depicts a distraught Adam with newspaper clippings on the wall, attempting to hunt down the Shadowman. I don’t know what happened after the Shadowman disappeared, or if Adam confronted his wife, or if he went to the police. I don’t know why I didn’t spend an hour and a half watching literally anything else, but I’m here now, and you will hopefully spare yourself the torture I put myself through.
This movie is…
Don’t waste your time.
Cheers and goodnight.