The Shadow Effect (2017) Poster

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Scraps of better action films
vicstevinson2 May 2017
This film obviously has a limited budget, but it's biggest handicap is limited imagination and innovation.

These actors are given nothing to work with but scraps from other action films. The quiet stretches are the strongest parts of the film, and they're not strong.

The real weakness is when action scenes are shot and it's obvious only one take was in the budget.

The scene between Rhys-Meyers and Gigandet at the conference table sounds like bad adult film dialogue. I'm guessing this entire film was shot with one take per scene.
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A hodgepodge of derivative plot elements
ginocox-206-33696810 May 2017
The Shadow Effect suffers from a very weak script. Ideas seem plundered wholesale from other movies where they were executed much more effectively, including The 6th Day, The Manchurian Candidate, A Clockwork Orange, Edge of Tomorrow, Total Recall, The Bride and Universal Soldier. The derivative nature of key plot elements could be forgiven, if they were presented with some sort of original twist or insight which is sadly lacking here. The production was clearly limited by a modest budget, estimated at $4MM; however, some very good films have been done with comparably limited budgets, such as Lone Star and Dinner Rush. The difference is creativity. Plot elements that are not shamelessly misappropriated seem contrived. Some elements are simply missing, such as the lack of response by the FBI, DHS and BAFT, motivation, character arcs and theme.

The producers assembled a capable cast and secured a wonderfully rustic cabin in the woods as a location for several key scenes. However, one character is heavily tattooed, which makes no sense relative to a key element in the plot, and it's difficult to imagine how the owner-operators of a rural café with only one employee and not many customers can afford such a home. By contrast, a secret laboratory that would seem to require antiseptic conditions is located in a dingy industrial setting.

However, a DTV potboiler doesn't need to be cerebral, provided it delivers the genre basics: fight scenes, chases, gunplay, explosions and sex. The gunplay is a bit hit-or-miss with a few good scenes and shots, but a lot of weapons brandished without being fired and not many impacts. CGI explosions are pretty decent. A car chase and crash is done well for a film of this caliber, but a character steals what seems to be a souped-up vehicle but doesn't drive it. The fight choreography is clumsy. The sex and nudity are self-conscious, although integral to the plot.

Whereas similar efforts hobble along with very little plot and a lot of eye candy, TSE offers a lot of plot, but very little eye candy. However, the plot is largely incoherent and derivative and not sufficiently engaging to bridge the gaps between the visuals.
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Bad weekend
joe-82514 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I was shut in all Saturday due to illness and thought I would check out a couple of movies the first was Black Site: Delta, which is truly the worst film that I have sat all the way through in quite some time. As luck would have it the second movie also 'features Cam Giggedy-Giggedy I thought the first few minutes were quite entertaining and was looking forward to a good plot to explain the backstory for this orgy of violence. That never happened and the movie rapidly descends into stupidity. The sniper scene where hordes well trained-mercenaries run out of a building straight into his crosshairs was beyond ridiculous. The closing scenes which endeavour to explain what it's all about are laughable. However it was marginally better than Delta and scores a solid 2!
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Good in many aspects , but still missing something
Abdo007910 May 2017
I liked this movie in many ways . The Atmosphere , The picture , The Music , The mysterious line of the movie that makes you wanna finish it no matter what the result is ,, I felt kinda like it's a video game

What I didn't like was the acting in many situations especially when it comes to action shots , although I liked the acting of the main characters ( Jonathan Rhys Meyers & Cam Gigandet ) in their dialogues they are doing a good job

The story line is good and thrilling but lacking something maybe more details or that's how I see it

Overall , This movie isn't bad and I really enjoyed it .. But It could have been something way better if you fill those missing parts

My rating 6.5/10
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Lame copycat which fails to get going anywhere
ivan_dmitriev8 August 2018
Lame copycat of the Total Recall, Demolition man and the Clockwork Orange which substitutes screaming and running/driving for acting and plot. Absolutely dreadful movie which goes nowhere, your time is better spend watching the movies this one ripped off, or just doing anything else but. Avoid.
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In your Dreams
nogodnomasters5 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Gabriel (Cam Gigandet) is an ex-Navy Seal, diner owner who kills people, but only remembers it in his dreams. He also gets shot and stabbed in those killings, yet has no indication that has happened-no wounds. It is as a confused mess for Gabriel as it is the viewing audience. We get an explanation at about 75 minutes into the film about the time they do the "Clockwork Orange" scene.

The film consisted of Cam Gigandet holding his head in far too many scenes. They initial kill scene was great and after that it appears they ran out of money. I was wondering what road you can take from being in downtown Baltimore one moment and on a country road the next. I drive around looking for an Interstate sign- stupid me.

Guide: F-word, Sex. Brief rear nudity.
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low budget, good sci fi
mgolanlan29 June 2017
This movie is much better than the avg 4 star given to it. Everything could've been done better, but it still keeps you wondering what is going on throughout the movie, and it ain't stupid or boring. Certainly worth watching if you like "dark" sci-fi. If you're only looking for mindless action - look elsewhere.
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So, so sci fi auctioneer.
kjjames814 May 2017
Even though I enjoyed the film I was left thinking that the director wasn't sure what to do with the action scenes. Cam who is a black belt in real life and has shown his thing on movies that he has done previously gets barley any unarmed combat time in this movie and I think it was a big misopportunity by the director. There are quite a few action scenes in the movie, cars, gun play, Tec and these are done pretty good, but you feel as if something is missing. Rhys Meyers was wasted throughout the movie. If you liked films like time bomb then you will like this film. This film was a combination of The Manchurian Candidate and Time bomb, with the latter's budget. Overall not bad but when you watch it, you will see that it was a big misoppourtunity.
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A shadow effect worth forgetting
TheLittleSongbird29 April 2018
Part of me was intrigued before watching 'The Shadow Effect'. It sounded interesting with a great concept, but it did look like a not very well made, ridiculous and by the numbers film with not particularly good actors so there was a little apprehension. Saw 'The Shadow Effect' anyway out of curiosity, being intrigued by the idea and having been a lot of low-budget films recently (most not very good to put it lightly).

''The Shadow Effect' managed to be worse than expected, even with mixed expectations. It started off pretty well, giving off the sense that maybe the film won't be bad and be better than it seemed. This didn't stay for long though and it is something of a shame. After the opening, the film went down south catastrophically very quickly and never recovered or improved. Actually got pretty much worse as it progressed.

On a visual level, 'The Shadow Effect' looked shoddy. Drab and simplistic, with haphazard editing, far from slick photography and very artificial-looking visuals on the whole.

The sound/soundtrack are intrusive and obvious with no variation and the direction has no sense of atmosphere or pacing, nothing to be thrilled by and nothing much engaging.

Script is awkward-sounding and ponderous, with lines that do make one cringe. A lot of it is gibberish and juvenile, with a stilted improvisatory feel that shouldn't have made it past draft stages.

On top of that, the story goes through the motions with no tension, suspense or thrills, a lot of intelligence-insulting ridiculousness, implausibility and pacing so dull that it makes a reasonably short length much longer. It is very derivative and parts also felt incomplete. The action sequences are more preposterous and by the numbers than they are thrilling or fun, a big problem for a film so heavy on this aspect. The terrible way they look also hinder them.

Characters are basically every stereotype in the book it seems and are one-dimensional caricatures with no likeability or development and with the inability to behave logically. The acting is very poor all round, particularly from Cam Gigandet, again showing no acting range of any kind. He and anaemic Jonathan Rhys-Meyers have zero chemistry together and their dialogues have no naturalness or believability whatsoever.

In summary, bad film in almost every way. 2/10 Bethany Cox
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Almost laughable, it was so bad
mustemily21 October 2017
Just horrible, unimaginative. The writing is bad, the directing and producing is bad. I see why the producers now are trying to get into real estate development, because this movie just bombed. Being from NC I always love watching local film and other artistic productions. I actually feel I'm more generous with a review when the producers are from my home state, but I could barely get through this movie. The action I thought would at least be exciting, but I found myself busting out in laughter.
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Cam Gigandet looks great in this movie
LeatherCajun29 October 2019
JRM looks ridiculous. The script and writing are bad.

This is an action movie with almost no action sequences, but a nicely mature Cam Gigandet is our hero and he is filmed shirtless making love, freaking out, hugging a toilet, being brainwashed. Good butt shots as well.

There is a weird, hard to follow, scifi resurrection plot.

Cam's acting is not bad. JRM acting accent hair is rather atrocious, but it looks like his scenes were shot in 1-2 days.

This was shot in Atlanta GA and has state tax credits written all over it. "We call them shadows, but yes they are ____."

Watch it for Cam's butt and chest and overall attractiveness. Howl with laughter for everything else.
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You Cam do it
kosmasp1 October 2019
It's not easy for an actor to get out of a certain pigeon hole. And while it's mostly women that are reduced to their looks, it also can happen to male actors. In this case it's Cam Gigandet, who many might remember or know as a regular in the show OC.

He gets a vehicle here, a movie that has a really good premise. And he also has a veteran by his side with Michael Biehn. Still the story has flaws and the character is not fully developed. But if you like Science Fiction action movies that are a bit off and low budget, this is one you can check out. High concept idea, decently produced and acted. You could do worse
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Crapfest will put you to sleep
d.rust7 September 2018
Yep, it's a crapfest. Someone had a few million dollars to burn, so they decided to throw it into posterity.

Avoid like the plague. If it comes on TV, change to the Crap Noise Nutwork.
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tgioinm11 December 2017
Great idea although already seen. The rest is just crap. I regret so much for 2 hours i just spent watching this pile of crap. Don't waste your time on this one. In 2017 shot a movie with such a bad special effects is unforgivable. CRAP. IMDb should remove this limit of 5 lines of text because some movies doesn't deserve 5 lines of text. This movie deservers only one word. CRAP.
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Amazing Movie
msbg-682673 June 2017
This is probably the best movie I have ever seen, hands down. The acting was terrific, the twist of the plot was great, and the mystery surrounding the ending of the movie was one of the best I have ever experienced. It kept you on the edge of your seat the entire time, and it had the perfect combination of mystery and scary. Must See
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