Review-Do you guys and gals miss the old Tales from the Crypt television show? Do you ever wonder how a modern day Twilight Zone could play out with all these new horror trends? Well Paul Davis who seems to be this new age thinker and quite possibly a director who does not mind taking a risk or thirty, gives you a series of four stories that he calls The Shadows of Ants. Paul Davis is out to give you familiar horror stories you know like zombies, vampires, werewolves and even witches, but that is where the familiarity ends and something different comes out of these shadows. Before we go any further, if you are a gorehound and you are expecting a blind bloodbath of lame acting and just gore over story, you will be seriously letdown. Now, you do get some blood moments here and there but Paul gives us a depth to his characters and their plights that you are not sure if the myths of certain horror staples are fair. What this means is he makes you feel that maybe in this world he has created that the true enemy is not the evil that we were told about in lore and film history, that maybe it is man or woman themselves.
The four stories go around twenty minutes to thirty and all have titles. The first act is called The Groundhogâ€™s Shadow, and it involves a doomed vampire couple whose love is so strong, but Oliver is being hunted just like his family and this story is what happens when the hunted is caught. Oliver and his love Sunny are caught by a hunter named Patrick. This story has a twist to it that some may see, and others may not but the twist really built the story so much above the Twilight saga or any kind of vampire film I seen before. The acting in this was so intense that you cannot sit there and watch what happens and not feel effected. That is something all these stories will have in common as this review goes on, is that the stories suck you in and you know they are manipulating you to feel sympathy for not so much characters but what the characters are going thru. From there, we go into Act II which is Shadow Puppets.
That is the one thing about the titles to the acts, is that you have no clue what they mean to the story or characters. This story revolves around a witch and her sick son. Her son has respiratory trouble from an accident. The film centers around the son and his mom trying to heal him, but the locals want to burn his mom to the stake and kill him. This story sums up what Davis seems to want to do very well, it manipulates you to feel bad and gives you a story that you know will not end up positive. The storytelling in this short is so slow building but once the finale is coming, you feel the build was for what you get out of the short. This was so emotional and hard hitting; that I feel to call it horror would be short selling it. Act III is called Shadow Boxing. This involves a werewolf and his lover Luna who may or may not be pregnant. Luna is worried about raising a kid around him, because he cannot control his sickness and killing. This to me was the weaker story till the last five minutes, boy do I know now why they called this shadow boxing, it packs quite the fuck you punch in the end. The final act is The Valley of the Shadow of Death. This involves a brother and sister trying to survive on their own in a zombie apocalypse when the brother has been bitten. This was more story based then Dawn of the Dead inspired, you get a few glimpses but nothing too serious.
This is for more of a non horror zombie fan or someone who watches Walking Dead for the story element. It was smart and effective but it may be a little too slow for the horror fanatic. The ending sequence wraps this whole film up in a way that is so smart yet simple that it worked. The film also has a spoken word narrator who talks at the beginning and the end, and also in between stories. That to me was smart and effective because it puts the viewer in the mindset that they are going into uncharted territory with this film, that they should be ready for something that may linger with them after the first viewing that screams to them to go back and watch again. All in all, this is such a must watch for people who want deeper meaning from todayâ€™s horror. This is Tales from the Crypt for the thinking fan.
9 out of 10