Here is a superb rendition of Bran Stoker's "Shadowbuilder" which is comparable as a superb story of the demonic as his famous "Dracula." The supernatural Demon is Legion, who travels from perdition into everyday reality on a terrifying path of destruction and mayhem to possess a young, unsuspecting virgin boy of 12 years old who is born with the stigmata (marks of the cross of Christ on his side, hands and feet). Fear of the dark descends on the people of Grand River, as the Demon Legion is intent to sacrifice young Chris Hatcher (Kevin Zegers) on the altar at a church to possess the youth's pure virgin soul. The pure soul and virginity of the boy seemed symbolized by his hair that was turning from blond to brunette. The Priest, Father Jacob Vassey (MIchael Rooker) had hoped to prevent the emergence of the Demon Legion, but he is too late to stop the pentagram ritual that opened the door from perdition. Now it is a race against the sacrifice on the church altar by Fr. Vassey, the Grand River Deputy Covey (Tony Dodd) and others with light - be afraid of the dark. It required the superb acting of Kevin Zegers, Michael Rooker and other support actors to provide 5-star performance and production of this DVD movie.
This is based on a Bram Stoker story, and I'd love to see the story. Surely his story didn't include electricity, generators, police cars, guns - well, of course it didn't. It couldn't have. But this is, all in all, a pretty good horror film. There aren't really any points in the film where I'm terrified, but the story line remains solid throughout the film. My main complaints are the casting of Michael Rooker as a priest (even if he has a troubled past), and the special effects - which somehow won an award from an obscure award ceremony, Fantafestival. The Shadowbuilder himself really wasn't all that convincing. Still, this was a horror film that began and ended with the same premise. It didn't deviate, and its characters didn't commit random acts of remarkable stupidity. It was a wholly believable story (in terms of being a movie, of course), and Kevin Zegers gave a good performance as the 12 year old that the Shadowbuilder wanted to possess. One other complaint that I have - if Zegers's character is supposed to be this special person (I'll let the film explain why he is), why didn't he exhibit any special traits? By the way, neither the DVD cover that Amazon has as its image, nor the actual cover that I received when I ordered it, has anything to do with the movie. Poor packaging, even though the cover I received was "cool". The one Amazon has depicts a blonde boy. Last I checked, and for his entire career, Zegers has been a brunette.
Shadowbuilder was really a great movie; when I first rented it I wasn't expecting much, but it turned out to be an excellent movie. Bram Stroker who is best known for Dracula wrote this originally and it shows. The acting was very good for the most part as well, particularly by young actor Kevin Zegers (who played Christopher) the stigmata whom the Shadowbuilder seeks out in the hopes of undoing creation. If you liked the movie Warlock, End of Days, or both you will definitely like this movie. I suspect that the movie End of Days borrowed somewhat from The Shadowbuilder.
I had rented this movie on VHS awhile back and thought that even with it's slightly "B rated" style it was a very good movie for the genre. Good acting, great special effects, and a top notch storyline make this a classic in my collection. I have purchased the DVD through several online vendors and have yet to find one that will play in any of my DVD players or computers. I highly recomend this film, but suggest the VHS version.