movie, movie review

January 28th, 2017 Movie – Death In The Shadows


So this will be a new one for me. I don’t think I have watched a movie that was from the Netherlands before. Granted, I do own Reptilicus, which is pretty close to Netherlands, but that is another story. Anyways, today’s movie is another one from the Pure Terror box set, so there is a chance that this will be absolute garbage. Might as well go ahead and get this over with as I watch today’s movie, Death In The Shadows.

The plot: A woman named Trudy is waiting for the bus to take her from the city to her home town. After the bus leaves, a car starts up and follows the bus for a while before passing it and parking on the side of the road. When Trudy gets off the bus and starts walking home, the driver of the car waits until she has passed the car before starting it up and running her over. Trudy’s daughter Valerie has her boyfriend Paul and some of their friends over to study but as they get ready to leave, Valerie notices how late it is and wonders where her mom is. As Valeria is finishing cleaning up, the police show up and take Valerie to the hospital but it is too late and Trudy dies from her injuries. As upset as she is, Valerie decides to go ahead and take her finals but she is interrupted by Inspector Mellema, who asks her some questions about her mother. When Valerie asks what the questions are about, Mellema tells her that Trudy’s autopsy revealed that she never gave birth to a child. Mellema heads to her house and goes through her mother’s things, then talks with Mellema some more about the issue. Mellema thinks Trudy might have been hiding something but Valerie insists that she had nothing to hide, but admits to wanting to know who her real parents were. After talking with her neighbor, Ria, and Paul, Valeria finds a name in her mom’s address book she doesn’t recognize and decides to go see who it is. Heading to a neighboring town, she heads to the address, which is an auto shop, and asks to speak to Wim Gerritsen. When a woman answers the office door, Valerie hands her a invitation to Trudy’s funeral, and the woman recognizes Trudy’s name and after learning that Valerie is Trudy’s daughter, she goes to get her husband. Wim speaks with Valerie but denies knowing Trudy and tells Valerie to leave his shop. When Valerie tries to sneak around back to speak with Mrs. Gerritsen, Wim catches her and tells her to leave. Valerie goes to speak with Mellema, who chastises her for going to speak with them without him. Mellema tells Valerie that he had been investigating Trudy’s finances and believes that Trudy’s father was never dead like Valerie had been told. At the funeral, Mellema shows up to see if the Gerritsen’s showed up, then goes to speak with a doctor friend of Trudy’s. Meanwhile, Valeria asks Van Maurik, the lawyer Trudy worked for part-time.  if he knew her father but he doesn’t tell her anything. Paul comes by that night and after the two have sex, he tells her he is leaving on a trip that his parents bought him as soon as they are finished with finals. Valerie goes to see Van Maurik again and asks for his help in finding her real parents but he tells her it won’t be easy and that she should get the police involved as they are more capable. After their finals, Paul convinces Valerie to come to a party but as she is riding her bike to the party, a car tries to repeatedly run her over but she manages to escape it when she falls into the nearby river. Making her way back to her house, she calls Mellema and as she waits for him, she hears someone approaching in the back. When Mellema gets there, she tells him about the back yard and he opens the door to find Ria there. After Ria leaves, Mellema tells Valerie what he knows so far about the investigation and says that for all intents and purposes, nobody really knew her mother and now it seems that someone wants Valerie is dead as well. He tells her that Trudy had a brother but nobody knows where he is now and Valerie decides to go sleep in a hostel out of town so she can feel safe. The next day, Paul goes to see her before he leaves and the two get in an argument about her safety. The next day, Valerie goes to see her friend Evelyn, who lives in the city, and Evelyn tries telling her to get her mind off of what is going on. As she is wandering the city, Valerie sees Ria and decides to follow her and sees her enter a fetish club. Heading inside, she looks for Ria and finally finds her working a peep show booth, which embarrasses Valerie and she quickly leaves. Valerie returns home and then heads to see Mellema to see if anything new has been discovered, and Valerie asks about Ria. After they talk, Mellema gives Valerie his number to call if she gets in trouble and Valerie heads out to a cemetery where some pictures of her and her mother were taken. Finding the graves that were in the pictures, Valerie heads to the nearby church to ask the priest about them and learns that the people died a long time ago, but did have a young child. She also learns that Trudy’s brother Bob still lives in the area so she goes to see him. When she finds him, Bob invites her inside and proceeds to tell her the truth about her birth. Bob tells her that when they were younger, Trudy and their friend were inseparable, but Hugo soon feel in love with a rich woman named Margo, and married her. They had a baby but Hugo, who used Margo’s money to start a business, lot of money and Margo went mad from the shame. Hugo brought the baby to Trudy while he dealt with the situation, which ended in Hugo and Margo’s deaths. Trudy became Valerie’s guardian and wound up with a great sum of money from the insurance settlements, which she used to help a lot of people, such as Bob and the Gerritsens. Bob asks if Trudy never told her any of this and Valerie says no, but thinks she was going to as she just turned 18. Bob gets a strange look on his face and tells her to come back that night, which she does but with Mellema coming along as well. They discover Bob with his throat slit and Mellema sends Valerie home while he finishes up the investigation. When Valerie gets home, the lights go out and she is attacked by someone but manages to get away and break a window to scream for help. Ria, who had stopped by to check on Valerie, goes inside to look for Valerie but ends up being attacked by the intruder. Ria manages to wrap the intruder in a comforter and tells Valerie to get the lights. As Valerie goes to replace the fuses, Ria’s and the intruder’s struggles end up knocking over a fish bowl, which breaks and douses the comforter and the intruder with water. Valerie replaces the fuses just as the intruder touches a bare wire, electrocuting him and Valerie recognizes him as Van Maurik. The next morning, Mellema explains that Van Maurik had spent all of the money in Trudy’s account and killed Trudy when she found out.

This was an interesting mess of a movie. Though there were some dubbing issues, the acting was pretty good, with Maayke Bouten (Valerie) and Johan Leysen (Mellema) doing a good job in their roles. The basic story was good but the way the movie was shot, jumping back and forth like it did, made it a little confusing at times. I will say that the plot twist was pretty good, as they seemed to indicate it would be either Valerie’s birth parents or maybe Ria as the killer but the lawyer definitely came out of left field. The soundtrack was definitely memorable, as it was essentially an accordion attempting to play some creepy music during the slow scenes, mainly during the scenes of people travelling or walking. Still, it is worth a watch just for curiosity’s sake.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5


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