SHADOWLAND is a low-budget action horror thriller by first time writer and director, Simon Kay. The film starting Amelia Eve, Jason Harvey
Shadowland begins by informing us about a 19,000 mile stretch of dense, ancient forest in the Scottish Highlands. That forest is only slightly less dense and impenetrable as Shadowland’s opening minutes.
In a series of unexplained and seemingly unrelated sequences, an old man (Tony Greengrass, A Spanking in Paradise) disappears into a trap door in an abandoned building. A young man named Kane (Gordon Houston) meets the very pregnant Sandy (Lily Cooper) while another man (Keenan Ben) has nightmares of what looks like a covert operation gone wrong. All while an overly loud electronic score that occasionally sounds like Boards of Canada plays on. The man with the nightmares we find out is Cam, ex-military turned private security. He’s lined up a job that should be easy money, escorting an ambassador (David E Grimes) and his family to a function in rural Scotland. He recruits Elaine (Amelia Eve, The Haunting of Bly Manor) to round out his team and they set out.
But easy money is rarely easy and they run into an ambush. Taking shelter in an abandoned barracks they get some good luck when something kills off their attackers. Their luck turns however when they realize that whatever it is, it’s not done killing.
The film stars Amelia Eve as Elaine Jason Harvey as Mickey Ben Keenan as Cam
Shadowland is the first feature from writer/director Simon Kay and it shows. The attempts to create mystery at the film’s start that only create confusion. The badly staged kidnapping attempt. Clichés like Cam’s romance with the ambassador’s daughter Dillon (Rebecca Finch, The Mermaid’s Curse, Cyber Bride) and a traitor within his team.
Eventually, we find out that the crazy old man is Kane and the scenes with Sandy happened in the 1980s on his way to the base. Whatever is out there is the result of his experiments. If this sounds familiar it’s very similar territory to what David Ryan Keith covered in The Dark Within and Redwood Massacre: Annihilation. Right down to the deserted base in the Highlands. It’s also not a million miles removed from The Rizen and its sequel The Facility.