I don’t know about anyone else, but I always find it hard to rate and review indie films. Do I judge it on a par with big budget flicks, or do I temper my expectations in line with the film’s budget? It’s a question that I don’t think I will ever get a definitive answer from myself. So when I was asked to put together a review for the new indie film, Shadows Fall, I went into the movie with very mixed expectations…
Shadows Fall introduces us to a young widow named Senka (Dylan Quigg), who (after making a deal with a demon) is confronted with the one thing that anyone that has ever lost a loved one would give anything for; one more moment with her dead husband. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned for Senka, and she must then live with the consequences of the deal she eventually regrets entering into!
Although director Aditya Vishwanath uses all the tricks of the low budget, indie filmmaker, Shadows Fall looks anything but indie! Shot in a little under two weeks, and set in a single location, the film has a polish to it that should make some bigger budget films embarrassed.
Rather than going down the route of lacing his film in blood and guts, Vishwanath opts to grab his audience with a slow burning, but gripping character driven narrative. What is impressive, however, is that this narrative is achieved with only three main and two bit part characters.
As well as Dylan Quigg (Senka), the film’s other stars are Christian Wennberg (Amis), Jener Dasilva (Jonas), Kinsey Diment (Rain), and Talmage Tidwell (Wilhelm). All put in very good performances, but special mention must go to Kinsey Diment, who despite only having a small role in the film really does shine!
Although Diment gets special mention, Dylan Quigg’s portrayal of the emotionally destroyed Senka was top quality indeed. The cycles of desperation and hope that Senka goes through is visible in every movement and facial expression Quigg uses.
Technically, and considering this is director Aditya Vishwanath’s debut feature, Shadows Fall is excellent. Although the film is set in a single location, Vishwanath’s direction gives each scene a unique feel which stops the film getting repetitive. When you combine this technically sound direction with some classy cinematography from Artiom Maksimov and a haunting score by Elliot Goldkind, then you have a “perfect storm” of indie film making that puts some bigger budget projects to shame.
To sum things up, Shadows Fall will certainly not be for everyone. I watched this film with a couple of friends, and while one was engrossed from almost the first minute, the other just couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. Me? Well, I thought a lot of the film, and will be adding it to the list of films I try and watch on the run up to Halloween every year, which puts Shadows Fall amongst some very illustrious titles indeed!