Realm of Shadows (2024)


Realm of Shadows

Realm of Shadows is a compilation of short stories that come together to find a sword in order to gain power and control. This also happens to be why I will be taking a break from horror anthologies. Where and what is the commonality? I couldn’t get there and gave up trying to understand by the 3rd story.

Calling this a horror film would be an extreme stretch, as the only thing relatable was they were gathering together for witch stuff, with sassy girl-power attitudes that were just overreactive. They congregated in such an odd way that it immediately confused me, which then annoyed me right off the bat. The beginning was so weird and unengaging, I almost turned this off completely. But with Tony Todd being promised, I kept going.

Being bombarded with clichés and predictable responses, I held on through the first few stories for what opened up to be showing promise as a saga of an underdog (Drain) winning the girl through the magic touch of some mysterious bartender. What started as a potential page torn right out of Tales From the Crypt’s “Loved to Death” fell short with an abrupt ending that never gave any substance for me as an audience member to move forward. Falling flat is putting it lightly.

The second story is “Hike,” which was a hike. A hike to watch and a hike to get through it. Completely void of dialogue with irritating synthesizers poisoning the air around everything, we watch one man (Drain yet again) have an alleged fallout with his girlfriend so he takes a hike through some hills and down a dirt trail that ends nowhere at all. The hike goes on and on until you want to either toss him off one ledge or jump off another one yourself.

Five more aggravating minis follow (some having Drain in full-on character mode but most featuring Drain) all annoying enough within themselves to make you want to quit being aware of what one is watching and just turn your brain off altogether, waiting for the finale. Which then fell flat. And once again, main character from Drain is the same typecast always harried, always sweaty and always uncomfortable. Maybe more focus should have been kept on writing if there’s not much help in guiding us through this movie maze that gets no better by wasting more casting money on other people. So I’ll keep going.

Realm of Shadows has Tony Todd which was a blessing by time I reached last chaotic tale “Fate Upside Down.” Priest played by Todd also goes after this supernatural dagger and becomes its holder after retrieving it from masked-devil guy in forest. Once he has it, expecting all-out apocalyptic war to break out is even more far-fetched than the boredom I just endured to get here. There’s a would-be cliffhanger moment as sisters of witches with newfound power battle each other using Ouija board that touches on thrilling for half a second but don’t believe the hype because these Goth girls are underdeveloped and unimpressive.

I wish I could unsee this.

I wanted a good horror movie when I saw that Tony Todd and Richard Tyson were billed in Realm of Shadows. I hoped it would be twisted and fun, but instead it was just boring. This film drags on forever without really going anywhere and then ends abruptly with no resolution at all so you’re always left asking yourself “What did I just watch?” And even though there’s nothing to follow, the story is still confusing. I couldn’t get into it; I couldn’t stay awake.

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