Shadow Puppets  - Dann
Director: Michael Winnick
Starring: Jolene Blalock James Marsters Tony Todd
This movie sat in my waiting box for about two years or so. Sometimes things slip through the cracks as I look at the discs and just say to myself, "Self, you probably don't care to watch this". And in most cases, my disembodied self is right. Other times, I finally get to watching them, and they aren't half bad. This is an example of not being so bad. Not being bad, doesn't really mean good, but for a single watch, it will do. The basic plot is similar to House of 9 with a monster, but no one knows that movie. So I will instead say it's like Cube even though that isn't true.
When the title screens start, I was impressed with the way each rolled in as smoke and formed the letters. While impressive for a title sequence, it also seemed to be the same effect for the main CGI monster in the movie, which isn't so good. Sure it isn't too bad, but throws the feel off when a cartoony smoke cloud flies by. Maybe a fog machine or just someone throwing coal dust at the actors might have worked better. Sure they'd get black lung, but the audience demands perfection.
We start off with Heather waking up in an all white room. Actually her name isn't Heather, but she can't remember anything, and everyone is wearing Heather Grey clothes so that works enough for me. After some power surges, the door unlocks and she's able to start exploring the compound. The place is a combination of a mental hospital, jail, boiler room, and as we see later, the addition of a swimming pool.
Heather meets another man, and then another couple. This forms the main group who start exploring. Then the weird people start showing up, like the annoying girl who the plot tries to paint as one of the people behind the scenes, and later they meet the Candyman. Not the actual Candyman, but the actor, but it's nice to imagine the Candyman will rescue the day. Some other minor characters show up as carnage fodder for the CGI smoke monster. Slowly the plot unravels and they figure out why they are there, and who they are.
At one point, we meet a computer programmer, and I really hate when they try to add computer stuff into a movie and have no idea what they are talking about. In order to bypass one security door, they need to access the main power source. A computer they found can get to it, but the guy states that the network needs to be up. Okay, correct. Then he states that a network needs two computers. Again, correct. So he says he needs the others to find a second computer and just start it up so the network will be active. I'm not sure how that makes any sense. If they can access the main power source through the network, just booting up some old machine isn't going to really do anything unless it happens to be the server or something. Sometimes I wish they just wouldn't try. At least they didn't hack a cellphone and use Firefox to wirelessly contact some rogue AI or something. I dunno, minor nitpick, but it bothered me.
Overall, not a bad movie. Certainly didn't fill me with hate for life or the director like some movies have in the past. Worth a rental or otherwise.