Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Wake up - Daniel dives into the monumental animated classic 'Sleeping Beauty' on a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - click to listen now!x
review, In The Shadow It Waits, In, The, Shadow, It, Waits, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Nalani Wakita, Eddie Orton, Robert Pham, Vessella Karadjova, S.c. Wilson, Naomi Plucke, Michael Beets, Horror, Mystery, Supernatural, Thriller film rating

IN THE SHADOW IT WAITS

★★★★

THE TERROR OF SELF-ISOLATION

REVELATION PERTH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: COUCHED REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
12th July 2020

Virtually every thriller or horror movie about computer technology and the internet hits on the same irony: these devices are supposed to bring all us closer together - but instead they do the opposite, creating a network of individuals isolated from the whole of humanity.

When COVID-19 first started making an impact around the globe, the pandemic felt eerily familiar to movie buffs, all thanks to decades of films about contagions and outbreaks. Now, the coronavirus has forced much of the world to retreat indoors, cancel all plans for the foreseeable future and practise social distancing. Perhaps it isn't that surprising that a filmmaker was thoughtful enough to connect the dots between the isolation caused by technology and these new restrictions triggered by the coronavirus.

Michael Beets' 'In The Shadow It Waits' welcomes us to Australia's new normal: a teleconference team meeting between a bunch of 20-somethings sitting at home during pandemic lockdown. Pat (Robert Pham), the organised team leader, is missing his family in Vietnam. Jace (Eddie Orton) is a home workout enthusiast who regrets not isolating with Hanna (Nalani Wakita) and is irritated by her omnipresent, zen platitude espousing yoga-instructor housemate Steve (S.C. Wilson). Jules (Vessela Karadjova) is a social media influencer with plenty of online attention who privately longs for a lost relationship.

'IN THE SHADOW IT WAITS' TRAILER

During a mid-meeting break for food, Meg (Naomi Plucke) gets bored. She begins scrolling through random internet urban legends before clicking on billybillybilly.net, where she plays a spooky "internet screamer" game and forwards it to her friends in an email. Creepiness ensues.

'In The Shadow It Waits' takes place mostly on the screens of laptops and phones, with a few carefully positioned cameras in dimly-lit hallways. The plot is silly but the pace is brisk, the themes are frighteningly timely and the technique is astounding. The film is also a lot of fun - credit goes to the actors for injecting some lightness into the more comedic scenes, along with nuance. I was particularly impressed by Robert Pham and Vessela Karadjova, playing two characters who are lonely for very different reasons.

I haven't read much about the movie's background, so it's not clear to me how much of it was created in post-production, but there's not a moment in this semi-real-time thriller that doesn't take place inside an apartment building. With 61 scenes shot on 58 cameras for actors to perform live from their own homes in different states across Australia - cinematographer Viktor Wallmark advised them on how to set up their cameras and lighting - 'In The Shadow It Waits' is an impressive feat of technical resourcefulness. Some of the eeriest moments are unbroken shots, beginning as barely noticed action in the background, where Wallmark demonstrates how video conferencing apps like Skype can provide a fresh twist on the mirror-scare.

Beets spins a bare-bones plot into a surprisingly profound meditation on the way that computers reflect our loneliness back at us.

The cinematic reference points seem to be David F. Sandbergs's 'Lights Out', Jordan Peele's 'Us', Levan Gabriadze's underrated, semi-experimental 'Unfriended' and Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 'Pulse', the gold standard of J-horror ('The Grudge', et al) ghost stories. That sub-genre is worth noting. Not only was it rife with shadowy, croaking ghosts, but it focused on the way young Japanese people were becoming increasingly isolated thanks to advances in technology, the internet boom of the 90s, and overcrowded cities (by the end of the century, Tokyo was among the most densely packed in the world). While 'In The Shadow It Waits' never outright talks about how humans in the internet age are like dots that never connect, Beets makes that point felt in the way his characters occupy these lonely corners of their cities, and might be doomed, in life and the afterlife, to wander around in isolated pods without coming into meaningful contact with anyone else.

What makes 'In The Shadow It Waits' such an interesting journey into the heart of technological darkness is the way that Beets spins a bare-bones plot into a surprisingly profound meditation on the way that computers reflect our loneliness back at us. What ultimately drove it home for me is a combination of the way the emptiness and dread grows exponentially.

Whatever the intent, 'In The Shadow It Waits' is scarily on the money, bristling with images that capture the alienation of our hyperconnected but forcibly isolated digital age. In 2020, researchers are talking up an epidemic of loneliness linked to COVID-19 lockdowns, and it's a spectre that stalks every frame of Michael Beets' film. This is filmmaking reacting to the trauma the entire world is experiencing.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 0h 40m
CAST: Nalani Wakita
Eddie Orton
Robert Pham
Vessella Karadjova
S.c. Wilson
Naomi Plucke
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Michael Beets
www.intheshadowitwaits.com
Intheshadowitwaits
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Revelation Perth International Film Festival: Couched reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
The Marksman - Liam Neeson on the run
TRENDINGWIN THE MARKSMANLiam Neeson on the run
Music - Sia's feature debut falls flat
TRENDINGMUSICSia's feature debut falls flat
High Ground - Australia's cycle of violence
TRENDINGHIGH GROUNDAustralia's cycle of violence
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Peter Pan - Presented by National Theatre Live
TRENDINGPETER PANPresented by National Theatre Live
Boxing Day Movies 2020 - The year's biggest films bursting onto cinema screens
TRENDINGBOXING DAY MOVIES 2020The year's biggest films bursting onto cinema screens
Summerland - Sweet and sentimental
TRENDINGSUMMERLANDSweet and sentimental
Jungle - A true story told poorly
TRENDINGJUNGLEA true story told poorly
One Last Deal - A touching tale of final chances
TRENDINGONE LAST DEALA touching tale of final chances
Nymphomaniac - Lars, sex and cinema
TRENDINGNYMPHOMANIACLars, sex and cinema
High School Musical - The start of something new, even 15 years on
TRENDINGHIGH SCHOOL MUSICALThe start of something new, even 15 years on
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
The Secrets We Keep - They kept a big secret... this movie is mediocre
TRENDINGTHE SECRETS WE KEEPThey kept a big secret... this movie is mediocre
My Shortest Love Affair - Making the best of an unexpected situation
TRENDINGMY SHORTEST LOVE AFFAIRMaking the best of an unexpected situation
La Dolce Vita - Not as sweet as you'd think 60 years on
TRENDINGLA DOLCE VITANot as sweet as you'd think 60 years on
Alita: Battle Angel - Devilishly fun sci-fi action
TRENDINGALITA: BATTLE ANGELDevilishly fun sci-fi action
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!