Film Review: AMONG THE SHADOWS (2019)

AMONG THE SHADOWS * USA 2019 Dir: Tiago Mesquita. 96 mins

The kind of movie in which the number of producers appears to outnumber the cast list, here’s a new career low for the genuinely talented Lindsay Lohan, whose childhood / teen Hollywood stardom now seems a very long time ago.

This embarrassing UNDERWORLD-lite farrago (important note: the UNDERWORLD films were never very good anyway) fights a losing battle against incoherence and relies on narration and text to explain its tedious plot. At the outset, we learn that “Frexit” followed Brexit, the EU disbanded and, by November 2022, we’re in the “United States of Europe”. First Lady Lohan hires the solemn, dull Charlotte Beckett – quickly revealed to be a werewolf in case her character name (Kirsty Wolfe) wasn’t clear enough – to solve the assassination of her husband’s associate – Kirsty’s lycanthropic uncle.

A more accurate title might be AMONG THE SMOKE MACHINES as CGI / fog enhanced “action scenes”, edited to be as bemusing and unexciting as possible, represent the ongoing conflict between vampires and werewolves. Part of a bizarre multinational cast, Beckett, whose godawful voice-over fills in exposition, does a dour impression of Kate Beckinsale while the film drowns in blue screen, terrible ADR and duff dialogue. The saddest element is the unfortunate Miss Lohan: her contributions clearly filmed solo – and seemingly in a different dimension to everyone else – she is awkwardly cut and pasted into scenes with actors she never met and sound that doesn’t match. She also appears to be reading from an autocue and is periodically replaced with an all too obvious double. It has the look and feel of a movie put together by a commendably ambitious 12 year old boy on a shit 90’s computer in between marathon wanking sessions. We might have been a tad more forgiving if they had actually nailed the basics – like correctly spelling the word “business” in the TV news bulletins.

Review by Steven West

 

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