There is no hiding the fact that director Dave McCabe’s Shackled (2010) is an indie and low budget film. It has a very drab look as if shot of video or mini-DV and the cinematography and direction are uninspired and barely adequate not to mention that the acting is subpar but I’m not sure if this is because the actors just aren’t good enough or if the script by McCabe and company just isn’t any good. More than likely it’s a mixture of both.
The story concerns Sarah (Donna Bradley) who is trying to solve the murder of her brother Brian but gets entangled in a mystery and conspiracy that delves into her families past and threatens to destroy her future with a cult like religious sect. All this could have made for a very interesting little film if not for the inept production itself.
What a difference a couple more script rewrites and better actors and higher production values could have done for this film. Action sequences are generically filmed with no sense of immediacy, characters telegraph what they are thinking and about to do before they take action and this is just the tip of the ice berg. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good indie (or no budget) film as long as it doesn’t pander down to the audience or seems inept in every possible way.
This comes off as the student film that should have never been screened for the public, which may seem harsh but I have to have at least something to recommend a film for in order for it to be watchable but sadly there is nothing here in this film that will allow me to do so.