Shadow Puppets (2007)

It’s a classic situation — and one I’ll admit that I love.

A small group of people wake up in what appears to be a prison — or perhaps a mental hospital — with no memory of how they got there or who they are.  There are others locked up in other rooms, but no signs of the staff.

Well, not until the find all the blood.

And, of course, there is something locked in there with them that’s trying to kill them — a living shadow.

That shadow monster seems awfully familiar, like we saw it in some highly popular fantasy/SF TV series (yeah, that one) and even has a somewhat similar identity, even if it is a more down to earth and moderately technological one.  We can argue about how much it is SF and how much it is fantasy as it at least suggests that there is something immaterial involved.  But I don’t suppose that it really matters much:  there’s a vaporous monster that hides in the shadow, it kills people, and the resident mad scientist of this research facility is responsible for setting it loose.

That’s what mad scientists do.

For those of you to whom it matters (i.e., not me), James Marsters stars, although he is given a far more interesting part than it seems at first.  The other lead is Jolene Blalock from Star Trek: Enterprise, ditto. Otherwise you probably won’t recognize anyone else.  Still, they do a reasonably good job which is all they’re asked to do in a film like this.

Okay, Shadow Puppets is low budget and moderately familiar.

It really doesn’t do anything extraordinary, but it is moderately suspenseful and has an idea or two and even manages to keep the audience guessing.  I’m mildly surprised by this, but I didn’t see the big reveal coming on this one.  That’s rare.

There is even an obvious clue or two.

And I have to give them credit because the motives and actions of the villain of the piece are truly outrageous.  And thorough.  You have to wonder how the Doctor planned to explain it all.

Before the monster killed everyone else in the building, that is.  That clearly wasn’t ever part of his plan.

This is a reasonably good time waster, no more, no less, neither brilliant nor terrible.  I’m not sure it will leave many permanent memories, but then it didn’t scar me for life either.  It’s definitely worth a look as a midnight movie, although there are better ones out there.

But there always are.

Oh, well.  You should be just fine with this one, as long as you watch out for the smoke — I mean “shadow” — monster.

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