REVIEW: The Shadow Effect (2017)

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2017, Momentum Pictures/Olson Pictures

Directors:
Obin Olson
Amariah Olson
Producers:
Obin Olson
Amariah Olson
Timothy Woodward Jr.
Writers:
Chad Law (story and screenplay)
Obin Olson (story)
Amariah Olson (story)
Anthony Feole (screenplay)
Evan Law (screenplay)
Cinematography:
Obin Olson
Editing:
Obin Olson
Amariah Olson

Cast:
Cam Gigandet (Gabriel Howarth)
Brit Shaw (Brinn Howarth)
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (Dr. Reese)
Michael Biehn (Sheriff Hodge)
Michael Aaron Milligan (Jesse McGraw)

The Olson Brothers craft an intricate tale of a young man whose vivid dreams may actually be a reality he never imagined, all driven by the performances of its cast.

Gabriel Howarth is a diner owner who as of late, has been going through some strange nightmares. The nightmares envision him as an assassin hired to target certain politicians. Gabriel feels something is not right, especially when he discovers that the killings have apparently happened. His wife Brinn becomes very concerned about him and recommends he sees local doctor Reese, who is an expert in tapping into the psyche.

When Gabriel meets Dr. Reese, Gabriel talks about his dreams and how he will hear about the stories. Dr. Reese prescribes medicine, but when Gabriel suspects something is going on, he doesn’t take the drugs. As he continues to dream, it is apparent Gabriel may actually be living these dreams. While he searches for the truth, he may discover something he never will have ever imagined and if he does discover the truth, what will his findings cost?

Obin and Amarian Olson are known for their indie thrillers such as Unknown Caller and Operator. For their latest film, they tackle the subject of the psyche but adds a twist that may sound a bit ridiculous, but it truly makes sense. With the help of action film scripter Chad Law, the film goes very smoothly in terms of execution and is driven by some great performances from its cast.

Cam Gigandet has proven that action truly is in his calling card and once again, he proves it here in the role of Gabriel, a diner owner who thinks he has it all, but suffers from a series of nightmares in which he is an assassin. At first glance, one would think this is story of someone who is an ex-assassin trying to regain his life but suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. However, when the viewer sees Gabriel violently seizuring, he soon becomes the assassin. However, what makes this interesting is that the viewer cannot tell if it is in fact a dream, or reality.

Jonathan Rhys-Meyers gives a great performance as Dr. Reese, Gabriel’s doctor who seems interested in tapping into the psyche and may or may not have a lot more in mind. Brit Shaw is quite well as the concerned wife of Gabriel, who recommends Reese to him, in hopes to save her husband from his nightmarish problems. Veteran Michael Biehn once again shows why he is underrated when in front of the screens as the town’s sheriff who may not be completely all there in his mindset at times. As a matter of fact, he may be involved in what could be one of the most shocking twists of the film and depending on your taste, you may or may not like it but it makes sense.

The Shadow Effect is better than expected thanks in part to the performances of its cast, the smoothness of the story and the shocking twist that comes about. This is truly a pretty good from the Olson Brothers.

WFG RATING: B+

youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjwFuLq_De8%5D

Momentum Pictures will be releasing this film on DVD, VOD, and Digital HD on May 2.

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