(UK/US - 2019)
Directed by Jim Mickle. Written by Gregory Weidman and Geoffrey Tock. Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Cleopatra Coleman, Michael C. Hall, Bokeem Woodbine, Rudi Dharmalingam, Rachel Keller, Sarah Dugdale, Quincy Kirkwood, Philippa Domville, Tony Nappo, Al Maini, Julia Knope, Colton Royce. (Unrated, 115 mins)
After a trio of films that were well-received in indie horror scenester circles (2007's MULBERRY ST, 2011's STAKE LAND, and 2013's WE ARE WHAT WE ARE, a remake of a 2010 Spanish film), director Jim Mickle delivered an instant cult classic with 2014's East Texas noir COLD IN JULY, adapted from a Joe R. Lansdale novel. Following that, he devoted his energies to the three-season run of the Lansdale-based Amazon series HAP AND LEONARD. Now, Mickle--working for the first time from a script by others and not with writing partner Nick Damici, though Damici is one of the producers--returns to features for his most ambitious effort yet with the Netflix Original film IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON. Written by TV vets Gregory Weidman and Geoffrey Tock (both worked on the CBS series LIMITLESS and ZOO), the film has a doozy of a high concept involving a time-traveling serial killer hitting Philadelphia once every nine years beginning in 1988, on a fateful night that will forever affect the future of young patrolman Thomas "Locke" Lockhart (Boyd Holbrook). With a pregnant wife (Rachel Keller) due to give birth at any moment, Locke heads out for another night on the graveyard shift with his partner Maddox (Bokeem Woodbine) when the entire department ends up in a state of chaos over a string of identical deaths--a sort-of hemorrhage where the victims' brains seemingly melt out of their eyes, ears, nose, and mouth--simultaneously taking place miles apart across the entire city. The victims all have puncture wounds on the backs of their necks made by some kind of undetermined weapon, and witnesses mention a black female in a blue hoodie fleeing a club where the weapon was used on a young woman, who soon dies in the same manner while she's giving a statement to police.