Shadows (Hellgate) Reviews
Don't see it.
Horror movies come up with the most ridiculous rules: "They can't eat after midnight," "You must be looking in a mirror," "Don't go to Camp Crystal Lake." And in each film there's always some mystical old woman who happens to know all this shit. But the concept behind this film might be the most laughable. After about forty-five minutes of characters piling bullshit rule upon mystical bullshit rule, I lost the ability to keep all the bullshit straight.
The film gets some cheap thrills from scary, gory corpses reaching out at the characters like spooky, pimple-ridden high school students who get paid minimum wage to work at a haunted house.
William Hurt is the reason I saw this film. He's not horrible, but it's definitely not a representative performance. Most of the time when he intends to look hurt and tortured, he just looks tired.
Overall, I'm never going to meet my favorite actor, William Hurt, but if I ever do, I'll be able to say, "I'll follow you to Hellgate."
Soon Jeff is left in the care of a young nurse named Choi. She keeps a close eye on him and helps him with his walking. Things start to become stranger when Jeff begins to hear voices. Then the images of horrific events start to play out while he's awake. He's seeing ghosts from a place known as the Shadow World. These ghosts lie between our world and the world of the dead. These ghosts are stuck in this unfortunate purgatory where they must relive the events that cost them their lives over and over again.
One night he looks into a mirror after a frightening episode and discovers
that the reflection of himself is transparent. This leads him to confide in Choi who directs him to her aunt, a spiritual adviser. She tries helping him, but it's going to take much more than herself to rid the Shadow World. That's when they turn to William Hurt who plays Warren, a soul surfer of sorts.
From Warren, Jeff learns that his own soul is still trapped at the moment of when his wife and son died. In order for Jeff to let go he must travel to a far off place to enter the Shadow World through something called a Hellgate. Once through he must release his trapped soul from the loss of his family or become like they are. In other words, to let go and move on or DIE!
This was impressive and surprisingly spooky. Kind of like a hybrid of 'Jacob's Ladder' meets 'The Dead Zone', but with creatures that hide in the shadows. However, it's heavily dull in the 2nd act and some of it gets bogged down by it's own limited budget. The effects are well done and the atmosphere is handled well.
Overall, a minor horror gem with impressive visuals and scares.