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A naked teenage boy covered in blood appears at a remote sheriff's station one year after the brutal unsolved murder of a local girl. Now Sheriff Jack Shepherd, guilt ridden over the girl's murder, must confront his own demons as he desperately searches for the boy's true identity and possible victims. Little does Jack realize that he has started down a path that will bring him face to face with an unthinkable horror. Before sunrise the living will pay for the pain the dead have suffered. Written by
The sheriff carries a Ruger Mini-14 rifle throughout the film, however there is never a magazine in the weapon. Though Ruger does make a version of the rifle with a fixed internal magazine, you can clearly see the open magazine well in a few shots; he's carrying an empty weapon. See more »
No One Leaves
Written by Nicole Hughes, Jeff Dalziel and Steve London
Performed by Scratching Post
Produced by Jeff Dalziel
Co-produced by Nicole Hughes
Courtesy of Sony/ATV Music and Raglan Road Music Publishing See more »
It is true that there are many issues in Shallow Ground that hamper its performance as a masterpiece and keep it from reaching classic status. The acting, for example, was far from excellent, there are too many easily perceived goofs and the characters fail to make any impression other than that of their physical presence on set and even that can almost be disregarded, at times.
Yet, there is a very fortunate combination of factors that rise this movie above the average, uninspired product with little or no value. First of all, the scenery. Not only are the woods chosen a very strong visual setting in which to unroll a horror story as it was explored almost to the fullest. Instead of the typical dark-hued and mostly shady forest environment for which most of these movies would go for, Shallow Ground opts to shoot sun dappled clearings and light flooded groves. And this green preponderance is shockingly effective when it becomes the background for the blood soaked boy whose silent performance may very be one of the most uncanny characters ever to haunt a horror movie.
Which is another strong feature in this movie, perhaps the most original one, the nameless creation whose identity is a mystery and whose purpose is never fully explained. Although many will claim this is a fault in the script, that plot-wise it is a muddle of never fully developed ideas, in a way that is exactly its allure. A horror movie must leave something to the imagination, there is not need to skin down motives and expose a very well define system of motivations for it to work as a nightmarish concoction of the not necessarily logic.
Although it does remind one of an X Files Episode, the gruesome and very often blood spattered approach that permeates the whole movie set it a few rungs above the toned down horror of our days.
At least, Shallow Ground is not afraid to be a pure horror movie, one that accepts the rules of the genre only to introduce fresh variations within a tradition that seemed to be dying off. Shallow Ground may the first movie of the 2000's to follow the Texas Chainsaw legacy.
And that is praise worthy.
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