Jane, a young, shy woman is infatuated with her tutor Allen and accepts his invitation to a party where she ends up alone in a room with Allan’s friend, Will, who doesn’t have the best of intentions…
By using a non-linear narration, Shadow establishes an atmosphere of foreshadowing dread from which we quickly understand what is going to happen well before the climactic event is shown.
This is completed by Nicholas Goodwin’s (Beauty Queen, Queen Mab Was Here) good directing, with his use of composition, high/low angles and clever paralleling shots that further brings the story to life – there are notably interesting paralleling shots of closing doors that seem to lead to the rape scene, happening at key moments probably to represent that there won’t be any going back from there. The actors are all convincing as well.
Unfortunately, the tension developed by the movie is soon cut short by the use of heavily dramatic music that takes away the necessary subtlety to create a convincing atmosphere.
Instead, the soundtrack seems to hammer at the viewers what they should feel instead of letting it come organically or using a more appropriate silence or subdued score. The sound is also overall of poor quality, making it hard to understand what the actors are saying.
Shadow tells a story that is already too present in real life and fiction, which makes it almost redundant by nature, especially as the narrative doesn’t bring anything new or original to the table.
The short film is however saved by the quality of its directing, making it on par – no better, no worse – with the other numerous short films or feature-length that tell a similar story.