Main cast: Cam Gigandet (Gabriel Howarth), Brit Shaw (Brinn Howarth), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Dr Reese), and Michael Biehn (Sheriff Hodge)
Directors: Obin and Amariah Olson
Gabriel and Brinn Howarth are a happily married couple who run the neighborhood diner in a quiet small town. Well, perhaps not everything is fine: Gabriel is plagued by dreams, in which he assassinates several politicians with ruthless efficiency before blowing himself up once the deed is done. What is going on? The dreams are making a mess of everything, and Brinn becomes scared when Gabriel starts turning paranoid and short-tempered as he starts to lose it. Worse, he begins having violent seizures while he is having these “visions” while he is wide awake. Even the shrink Dr Reese can’t seem to help (although maybe that’s because Gabe flushes his medications down the toilet, heh) and Sheriff Hodge is starting to look at him funny. Is there something going on here that is more than just a poor sod being plagued by dreams? Hmm.
Oh, and before I go on, the official sources give the main characters the last name of Howarth, but a close up on Gabe’s medication bottle states that his name is Gabe Lawson. So is it Howarth or Lawson?
One thing I can say about The Shadow Effect is that it tried. It is a low budget movie, which means its ambition and intentions are far greater than the ability of the movie folks to execute them well. Furthermore, I correctly guessed the twist about twenty minutes into the whole thing. Factor in some pretty bad attempts by Cam Gigandet to emote, the campy acting by Jonathan Rhys Meyers that feels oddly out of place compared to everything else about the movie, and the slow pace, and this movie isn’t exactly something to rush out and watch.
Still, the movie is definitely after my heart, because it has Mr Gigandet clad either in tight tee and low hanging jeans (look ma, no undies) or small boxers pretty much all the time, culminating in all out nudity (with the naughty bits obscured, of course) during the climax. While the brain knows that the movie is very slow and everything feels like it has gone on for years despite the running time being just slightly over an hour, the heart doesn’t care that the movie is taking its time because – not going to lie here – the scenery is gorgeous. I’m going to give it an extra oogie because of that, and oh hush, it’s my website so it’s my right, buster. That ass alone is worth an oogie, okay?
Also, I now realize that I really like it when Mr Gigandet plays the crazy. He has the hot physique and crazy murder face to pull that off well, and given that he has no problems showing skin, maybe some French director needs to cast him as a nudist serial killer in some noir flick ASAP.
I normally won’t recommend The Shadow Effect, but still, if you don’t mind leaving your plane on autopilot and just want to watch something with a hot guy getting down to his skivvies most of the time, this one may just be the thing.