Shepherd (VOD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Horror, Mystery
Director: Russell Owen
Distributor: Parkland Entertainment, Darkland Distribution
Duration: 103 minutes

Shepherd (VOD) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Atmosphere
Bad: Doesn't have a lot of substance
User Score
(1 votes)
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Over the years, we have featured all types of horror movies here on the site, ranging from comedic entries in the genre to gore-infused tales, and even reboots and rereleases have passed the revue. While many mainstream entries in the genre often satisfy the need for a ghoulish evening, we often enjoy ‘indie’ movies, as these films tend to be more original or don’t shy away from thinking outside of the box. This time we take a surreal trip to a remote island with a weary soul who is trying to escape from his current life.

Shepherd’s story revolves around Eric Black (Tom Hughes), who has recently lost his wife. Due to this, it seems he is tired of his own life, and he is actually looking for a place to be alone and start anew. When he stumbles upon an ad where someone is looking for a shepherd on a small remote island, he takes the chance to escape his current life. On the island, strange visions start occurring, and things are clearly not as they seem. As the movie starts off with a segment from The Divine Comedy, we do somewhat understand what is going on. Especially when Eric is literally taken over the water by a shady-looking ferryman.

It’s somewhat hard to describe the flow and pacing of Shepherd, as it’s a very atmospheric movie. The movie throws a lot of impressively filmed scenes at the viewer with a minimum of explanation. At certain times it feels like an art exposition, rather than a traditional movie. At times, the story behind the thick metaphorical descent down into hell crawls by excruciatingly slowly. However, it does build the right atmosphere and keeps you wondering what is real and what isn’t. We do have to say that the small snippet from Dante’s The Divine Comedy helps you understand the story of this film. Those unfamiliar with Dante Alighieri’s work will probably not completely appreciate the story of Shepherd.

Even though the movie only has five listed cast members on IMDb, the film mainly rests upon Tom Hughes’ shoulders. Hughes does a great job at bringing the movie to life, especially due to his visible haunted persona that seeks isolation, hoping he may one day recover. We may not get to know that much about his character, we do see a clear evolution from someone who is tired of his life to someone clinging to dear life. This feeling is enhanced by both Kate Dickie and Greta Scacchi, both also playing very gloomy characters. Kate’s performance as the ferryman adds to Tom’s character’s descent down to (his own personal) hell.

As we viewed a digital version of the movie, we are unaware of any extras you may get when purchasing a copy of the film. While the movie is great on its own, some motivation behind certain choices concerning the story would be fun to dive into, or perhaps some deleted scenes, other commentaries, and so on. Other than that, we don’t see that much need to have that many special features included with the film.


Shepherd is a very interesting horror movie, but it will only satisfy a niche audience. We did love the many interesting scenes the movie presented us, but the actual story didn’t have that much substance to work with. This symbolic trip down to hell is presented in a fascinating way, but it sometimes feels more like an art project than a complete story that is being told. If you’re a fan of somewhat artistic horror movies, this one will certainly float your boat.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Shepherd (VOD) - Movie Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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