Director: John Johnson
Cast: David Simmons, Ted Taylor, William G. Smith
Production Company: Darkstone Entertainment
Runtime: 92 minutes
John Johnson is a prolific indie film director that has produced numerous movies and shows over the years. Some of his movies include Skeleton Key (2006), The Jester (2007), Deceptors (2005), and Plan 9 (2015). Shadowhunters (2004) is one of his earliest films, and still has a lot to offer us.
Johnson often acts in his own movies, and has a knack for portraying charming characters. He seems comfortable as an actor, and his delivery is very natural. I often wonder how he stays so cool acting and directing at the same time!
In Shadowhunters, Johnson plays one of four demon stalkers who seek to dispel an evil spirit. The demon haunts an abandoned hospital, and is bent on murder and mayhem. To complicate matters, a group of scantily-clad sorority girls are spending the night there as part of an initiation ceremony.
The film makes great use of its main location. The hospital rooms, corridors, and stairways provide a lot of variety without having to go elsewhere. Johnson even had access to the hospital’s morgue, which was a creepy addition to the film.
The Shadowhunters are a secret order dedicated to the fight against supernatural forces around the world. This is a concept that clearly appeals to Johnson, as he has revisited the idea in other films. It’s a great approach, and watching it go through different incarnations is fun.
The Lovecraft Chronicles: Juggernaut (2009), FearFighter (2012) and The Spook Detail (2017) all have similar themes. The wrinkles are different each time, and the concept becomes more and more refined with each new project.
Johnson regularly blends horror with sexuality in an intriguing way. Here, the demon transfers from person to person at will, but it occurs most often during a sexual encounter. Sex and horror have always gone well together in the movies. Johnson shows some inventiveness while engaging this concept.
There have been two sequels to the original film: Shadowhunters: Lost (2011) and Shadowhunters: Devilspeak (2015). The sense of camaraderie felt in this film, and Johnson’s other movies is real. Darkstone Entertainment is a family, and that spills out onto the screen.
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…