Rarely do I get giddy about a new release but when I heard about a little movie called Among the Shadows starring Lindsay Lohan, I knew this was a film that I could not miss. I’m old enough to remember a time where Lindsay Lohan was the biggest star in Hollywood and that’s not a rib. Riding the wave of films like Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, Lohan was well on her way to being the Hollywood ‘it girl’ much like we view Jennifer Lawernce and Emma Stone today. But just like many girls in the industry, she was chewed up and spit out by the industry and her star power nosedived like a 747 with complete engine failure.
Well, it’s 2019 now, and we don’t hear much from Lohan these days seeing how it’s been six years since she has starred in a film. However, one look at the trailer and I knew we had a winner, and by winner, I mean a legendary loser. Set in the Grimm future of 2021, The European Union has been rocked by the exit of Britain and France. What exists now is a new Euporean Federation which is somehow in the middle of a power struggle between vampires & werewolves. This leads us to the actual star of the film Kristy Wolfe (get it, because she is a wolf) who is investigating the murder of her uncle who is believed to be killed by vampires. Her only lead, the first lady of France who is also a Vampire…Lindsay Lohan.
Where to begin here? Most people can lower their expectations of a film when dealing with low budget movies, obviously, you are going to get Avengers like special effects here. But this movie will test your endurance because these are some of the worst visuals I have seen in my life. I don’t believe I can overstate this enough, the visuals are TERRIBLE. There are scenes where the characters who are supposed to be on the streets of France are standing behind a blatant blue screen so bad, it is made to look even worse when a character moves in the shot.
Lohan is the draw but she isn’t even the star of the film, that would be Charlotte Beckett. All of Lohan’s scenes look like they were shot in a maximum of 5 hours and to further that theory, there are voice-over scenes that are clearly not in her voice but it’s not like they can call her back in post-production (if this film even had post-production). The story is exactly what you think it is, a knock-off script of Underworld with some current day political theatre. The acting is either bad or the effort is nonexistent. The only thing that grips you into the movie is how jarringly bad the filmmaking is.
Now again, you have to give a pass to films that simply don’t have the funds to achieve the vision they want…that is until I went to IMDB and saw that the listed budget of this movie was 12 million dollars….12 MILLION DOLLARS!!!
Do you know the number of films I’ve reviewed in the last three years with budgets way smaller than 12 million that didn’t look nearly as bad as this? Where the hell did that money go??? Paying Lohan? 12 million was too much money for her back in 2004. You couldn’t afford a city permit for filming with that much money? Or a decent mic for sound? Quality actors? Special effects? Hell A.X.L. didn’t cost that much money and they had a fucking robot dog that could talk. I’m 100% certain that I just watched a student film that was a front for an international money laundering scheme. I just hope the money went to something useful like Lohan’s drug habit rather than an Indonesian human trafficking ring.
The only way I would recommend Among the Shadows is if you want to set a new bar for bad cinema. The good news is Among the Shadows is exactly what you thought it was, the bad news is, it is exactly what you thought it was.