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Shadowland

3.1 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A taut reinvention of vampire lore, Shadowland opens in modern day North America, where construction workers uncover an old stone cross and what appears to be a wooden stake. They remove the stake from the ground, allowing Laura (Caitlin McIntosh), a slumbering vampire, to revive and rise from the earth. Beaten and weak, Laura is unable to speak, remember who she is, or even the fact that she is a vampire! As Laura attempts to make sense of the strange new world around her, she begins to remember not only an idyllic human life in 1897 but the handsome Lazarus (Carlos Antonio León), a mysterious lover who may not have had her best interests in mind. Soon Julian (Jason Contini), a world-weary vampire hunter employed by the church, begins tracking Laura, but as he closes in for the kill he learns that things are not what they seem. An ambitious, award-winning indie feature, Shadowland relies on character, tension, and a series of reveals to tell the tragic story of an anti-heroine.

Review

It has been said time and time again, and it bears repeating every so often, that if you re a filmmaker working with a low budget, the best thing you can do is come up with inventive ideas. Ideas are free. It doesn't cost a dime to create an original and engaging story. This is something writer/director Wyatt Weed has taken to heart and achieved with his first feature film, Shadowland. Shadowland is among the best, original, vampire movies in recent memory. Told in non-linear fashion, it keeps the viewer enticed in its mysteries without ever force-feeding exposition or crossing over into boredom. The film is driven by plot and character, something Weed has no trouble in delivering ample amounts of. The film jumps back and forth between the modern world and a small community in the late 1800s. In the present day, a girl, Laura, awakens to find she has no memory of who she is or where she has come from. She also cannot speak. She soon discovers, however, that she is being chased by a man named Julian. Julian is a hunter sent out by the Catholic church to rid the world of vampires. Weed does an excellent job of hiding Laura s true self to us for much of the film. We simply do not know who she was prior to being buried, whether she was an evil vampire of lore or something far more human. There is so much depth to even some of the smaller roles in the film. A man working at an all-night diner who Laura comes across has as much depth as the leads, and that is an incredible level Weed achieves with his characters. What we believe about Laura s character switches sides numerous times throughout the course of the film. What s more, you care about her just as much as you do Julian, and, even though they are both on opposing sides, you understand where each of them are, why they make the choices they make. Also of note with Shadowland is the liberties Weed takes with the vampire mythology. Much like True Blood, we know very little about the vampires of this world. As the film progresses, more and more of their characteristics are revealed. The vampire in Shadowland is something Weed makes his own, keeping certain, familiar aspects and completely scuttling others off to the side. These vampire are playing on a much deeper level than most, and the mythologies Weed creates in Shadowland are a welcome surprise. Shadowland was filmed on a minuscule budget, but the film looks incredible. The scenes that take place in the 1800s are beautifully shot by cinematographer Nicholas Gartner. Some of these shots rival anything found in a film that costs $200 million. The makeup effects and visual effects are superb, as well. You can never tell where the film had to hold back on certain things, and that is a commendable ability in a low-budget filmmaker. Even a fight scene in an alleyway is shot particularly well and has some very clever and enjoyable choreography. Caitlin McIntosh, a former semifinalist in the Miss Teen USA Pageant making her debut here, is near faultless in her performance as Laura. She gives the character a deeper sense of mystery, but she allows herself to be likable, too. The same can be said for Carlos Léon as Lazarus, a stranger whom Laura falls in love with in the film s flashback scenes. He gives Lazarus the perfect amount of charm and darkness the character requires. Driven by its intricate story and beautifully developed characters, Shadowland is an inventive entry into the vampire sub-genre, something the film s big-budget siblings should take a cue from. Wyatt Weed has crafted a fabulous screenplay and his director s eye pulls the film s execution off with very little in the way of imperfections. It is highly original and a fresh return to the creativity that made the vampire film so popular to begin with. --We Are Movie Geeks

One potential difference between independent movies and big studio movies lies within the trailers. With a bigger movie you watch a trailer with a degree of cynicism, wondering if all the best bits have been condensed into that brief minute and a half. When a trailer for an independent looks good I think you have a little more hope for the rest of the movie. Having seen Shadowland s trailer I was filled with hope. It was an indie quite obviously but it looked good, well filmed with interesting shots and it had... something... I had hopes for the film and, I have to say, there is clearly something (good) going on in indie vampire film land because there are strong movies appearing and this is one of them. The film itself has a rather simple story but works for several reasons. With respect to the story it has a hint of a deeper philosophical discussion of good and evil though that is only explored between the lines really. However it is the pacing that makes it work so well. Weed interlaces scenes between the past and the present in such a way that he reveals the narrative masterfully and keeps the viewers interest piqued and opens up Laura's story wonderfully. It was also nice to see scenes from the past that looked as though they were in the past they really did transport the viewer back (though, as a matter of taste, I wasn t personally sure about Lazarus jacket!) The primary thing that made the film was the performance by Caitlin McIntosh. She had very little in the way of dialogue and portrayed her fear and confusion through non-verbal communication that worked really well. She really did carry the film through. Perhaps I wasn t as sure about her 19th century persona but only because her reborn performance was so well done. The other main performance is by Jason Contini as Julian. I have to say that, at first, I was unsure as to whether I was convinced by him as the hunter (who may or may not be on her side) but the character revelation at the end of the film made me realise that he had been playing the character as he should have been and any doubts were in my own preconceptions. That said, whilst we got a large amount of characterisation around Laura, I felt that we missed out on some around Julian and we could have done with more. The supporting actors all worked well and I rather enjoyed Dale D Moore as the somewhat lecherous 19th century pastor._ The final reason this worked was because it looked good. There was a good use of film, the lighting was properly done. It was clear that any budget they had was used to make the film work. It was nice, after endless camcorder calamities, to see an indie film that looked like a film (again this seems to be a mark of some of the newer, better indie vampire flicks). One thing they did do was use models rather than rely on CGI after all, CGI is unlikely to work without a big budget (Hell, even then it can fail). Thus the scene of Lazarus with wings was done using models and this offered a solid quality that CGI would never have given. Not everything worked that well, a SWAT thrown through a window looked a little false but it was a minor issue in a very good use of effects._ I really enjoyed this. When it came to the score I really had to think. To be honest I loved the direction they took the ending but I felt that perhaps the story could have been a little more in depth especially on the philosophical good vs evil side. That said, the way the whole film was cut together and paced worked so well I ended up settling on 7 out of 10. Well worth catching. The imdb page is here and the homepage, with trailer, is here. --Taliesin Meets The Vampire

SHADOWLAND
In this horror film from horror director Wyatt Weed, Caitlin McIntosh stars as an amnesiac vampiress who doesn t know whether to run from or towards a bounty hunter dispatched by the Vatican who claims he can save her soul. --Independent Film Channel

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Caitlin McIntosh, Jason Contini, Carlos Antonio Leon, Dale D. Moore, Don McClendon
  • Directors: Wyatt Weed
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Pirate Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: November 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0040GMPEE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,609 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shadowland" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Carl Manes on November 8, 2010
Format: DVD
Vampires and originality don't usually go hand-in-hand in the Horror genre, but Wyatt Weed's breakthrough feature film looks to change that. SHADOWLAND tells the tale of the beautiful vampiress Laura, who awakens from the grave after being locked away for a century only to find herself lost in the modern world. As she struggles to find her place, she must elude the authorities and outrun a vampire hunter that has been sent after her by the church. Unlike so many other forgettable vampire pictures over the years, SHADOWLAND is heavy on character and low on gore, crafting its own rich history and mythology that are each quite unique. The Southern Gothic atmosphere places it in league with many of the classic Hammer films, only set to a contemporary American backdrop. Weed manages to turn back time, returning the streets of San Carlos into a convincing colonial township on a tiny budget. Where he will find some hesitation with the mainstream crowds is in his slow but deliberate pacing, which works well for Gothic film fans, but will likely become an instant turn-off for many of today's audiences. This allows the viewer the time needed to bond with Laura's character throughout her journey, a task that is made easy thanks to Caitlin McIntosh's winning performance. McIntosh is left to act out the first half of the film without any dialog, yet she is still able to convey a range of emotion while drawing the audience in despite this handicap. Although there are very few action sequences, the ones that do make it in are cleverly shot in order to allude to Laura's powers without a heavy reliance on special FX. On top of everything else, SHADOWLAND provides stunning cinematography and an exceptional score that make it a top-contender for 2010!

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
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Not all vampires are the bad guys, or girls in this case. An artifact is found in a construction site and the workers unknowingly free a sexy vampiress. Her name is Laura and she has partial amnesia. However, her hunter does not have bad memory loss and starts to hunt her down. As with a lot of monster movies these days, some vampires(Blade, Twilight, Underworld) are not evil, just misunderstood. The hunter soon learns this the hard way! Caitlin McIntosh plays Laura who is incredibly sexy. This ain't for kids!
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Premise was good but I was not impressed overall. Couldn't understand why the "Hunter" was dressed in 70's hippy's garb while everyone else was dressed in more current clothing, especially while he drove a Mini Cooper while on the prowl. By the time she finally escaped her pursurers the movie was over. I would not recommend this to a friend.
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The female star "Caitlin" is truly beautiful in an "Amber Heard" sort of way. What I have noticed with these "B" movies is that there are some potentially great actors here that just don't have a whole lot to say about their creative license during the scenes, so don't have any chance to show off their acting chops. I noticed that they all seem to have this air about them of being "hyper aware" of what's going on "off camera" during their scenes so they don't get into it, or become the part in totality. I thought Jason and Caitlin could have had vampire chemistry and expected him to rise up turned, and off they go a'vampin' and romancin' their way throughout eternity. What's up with the teeth prosthetics? Soooo oogly. I don't think any species of bat have those circular outside teeth. They have no practical function in real life and for this movie....they just made a slow movie, over done or...slower, and they were not scary like the over done teeth in the original "Fright Night". The 1.5 hrs. that this movie had to get it done, didn't. It was barely OK...I would have liked to have known a little more about the vampire character that turned her originally, and who dressed him for the old days? That was really bad. As a matter of fact, costuming either was dead drunk the whole time or they didn't do their research, had bad taste past and now, or all of the above. The fight scene in the small alley between the vamp and Jason was pretty good. They had some good smack down moves there. All in all it was an OK movie that needed much more vamping, tightening up of the script during her running around the town, and more acting/verbal explanation about the character blend and relationships. This story had possibilities that were ignored in favor of shooting a lot of scenes of Caitlins breasts. Boring.
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Movies like these convince me that random people on the street can be unexpectedly cast into a full length motion picture--preferably no acting skills and lacking capacity for good taste. Why can't movies like these all be put into a general category all their own... again with that Surgeon General warning about the health risks??
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By Ron on February 17, 2014
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Shadowland is not a bad low budget Vamp movie with its deviation from the the standard take (although now anything goes) on vampirism. It is shot with a skillful eye and competently directed and acted by the lead actress.

For me the major flaw in the movie arises from 90 percent of the movie relating to the chase in present time. There was not enough effort and energy put into the back story until the end of the movie. Yes, the pieces do come together in a competent and coherent way, but the story is never given a chance to evolve and pull the viewer in.

The prolonged chase did not hold my attention as well as I would have liked because the time wasn't utilized to its full potential to tell the story.

If I give even a few details it would spoil the story due to its simplistic nature and lack of depth.

There is a fair amount of violence without being graphic along with some foul language, but not a lot. The gore is very tame and there wasn't any sex scenes in the movie and the only partial nudity was of the back, legs and side of the female lead. This was very tame for a Vamp movie and one the early teens might be able to view with the family.

I will give this one 3 stars for the effort they put into this production. I just wished they would have developed the story with more depth.
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