A film that takes a look at the factors that turn children into adult psychopaths. The film follows the story of a 17 year old boy named, "Johnathan" who was labeled as a psychopath at age 14, while on trial for first degree murder.






This film takes a look at the factors that turn children into adult psychopaths. The film follows the story of a 17 year old boy named, "Johnathan" who was labeled as a psychopath at age 14, while on trial for first degree murder. It examines factors such as parenting, genetics, and society in determining the psychological state of any child as they develop into adults. Psychopaths (now referred to as Anti-Social Personality Disorder) are described essentially as individuals with no ability to empathize or show true emotions. They can recreate the exact pantomime of emotions, but the actually feelings rarely come to pass. They are, by definition, without conscience. Roughly 2% of the total population is estimated to be completely psychopathic, while about 15% would be considered "Partial Psychopaths", or incomplete manifestations of the illness. These people are commonly depicted by the media as the very few serial killers and high profile criminals that we seem to focus on; however, ... Written by Bryan Law

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Plot Keywords:

psychopath | shadow | See All (2) »


Documentary | Short





Release Date:

17 November 2007 (Canada)  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


CAD 30,000 (estimated)

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was produced on a shoe-strap budget over a two year period. Completely independently produced. See more »

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Down with the Sickness
2 June 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Psy•cho•path: A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

With our diseased media needing to drum up ratings, in-depth info about why so many choose to commit terrible deeds is lost in the avalanche of hypocritical, fear mongering rhetoric & grandstanding, keeping a ignorant populace even deeper in the dark, petrified & accepting of draconian measures that whittle away rights daily under the benevolent Daddy State.

How difficult remembering the human faces behind these statistics, drowned out by 24/7 air-wave onslaughts of tragedy worldwide; demonizing perpetrators & pinning our rotten baggage on those declared the lowest on the ladder is a much easier way to go, living vicariously through our screens & speakers like we do. A rather pathetic street-side interview portion establishes just how linked the word 'psychopath' is with Hollywood thrillers & their machete wielding bogeys for the average Joe. The popular imagination is saturated with madmen & their gruesome and entertaining handiwork. I don't know how many on-screen evisceration's I've witnessed, but its enough to ramble on for pages and pages on this website.

What I like about IN THE SHADOW is that it tries dispensing with the faux-expose style of those poor journalistic endeavors caught on prime- time, pretending to inform the public but just titillating them further, providing an easy out from the shared responsibility of our plight. We'd rather have our boogeyman, our Dahmers & Manson's & OJs & Bundys to lord it over, especially considering our perceived powerlessness in the grand scheme of global affairs. Soapboxing fear is a potent, falsely empowering high-an easy one.

This little Canadian production gets why mythologizing monsters only grants them more power, elevating 'scoundrels' to supernatural highs: every remorseless killer Lucifer incarnate, every violent offender public enemy no 1. True, it doesn't wholly escape the flashy, sinister chic trademarked by the Hard Copy's & Inside Editions of the planet (entertain first, inform second) but it does try for some honest compassion, about as rare in mainstream TV/film as a fair election. All the time spent here with 'Jonathon' is more insightful than most front- line horror stories I've ever seen on the MSM.

Inhuman acts only beget inhuman acts goes the thesis, lives spent absent of warmth & direction, ensuring future victims on all 'sides', rotten lives lived in rigged economic systems enough to warp many a brain. Its admirable that the director makes a play at the wider perspective, taking aim at the very structures that aggravate these problems in the first place, often by design. Thoughtful cause & effect discussion shows the viewer how profit driven, bottom-line living & the inhuman demands of our all-mighty market place don't exactly nourish an atmosphere of love & openness; it even goes as far as including (fairly) recent footage of Bu$h co. to demonstrate how faulty human beings can actually inhabit ALL spheres of the social ladder, not just the gutters. In this hyper superficial, consumption-based con-game, the meanest mofo gets to the top the quickest, easily infecting the rest. Remember that next time some on-screen podium punter orders you to be very afraid; Wolves wear Armani suits nicely.

Watching films like this one, it strikes you like a load of brimstone just how much we still do live in a jungle, only one with the furniture cunningly re-arranged. I can only hope to catch more homegrown presentations that aren't too timid documenting the very human costs of all our wonderful 'progress' instead of relying on corporate cliché's & lazy thinking. It isn't a masterpiece, but it's a good start.

High time to take a long look in an unfogged mirror determine exactly who is staring back.

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