By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Writer/director Ryan Gregory’s work includes shorts and a handful of TV documentaries. However, Gregory makes an ambitious leap into the sci-fi genre with his first major movie, “Shortwave.”
It’s out there and is a real mind-bender.
In “Shortwave,” Isabel (Juanita Ringeling, TV’s “God’s Equation”) and Josh (Christobal Tapia Montt (TV’s “Good Behavior”) are a young couple still grieving over the mysterious disappearance of their daughter Amanda.
The despondent Isabel can’t shake the blame after all these years. Isabel went to a book store with little Amanda, sat her down with a group of kids as she went to use the nearby bathroom. When she came out, Amanda and everyone else in the store was gone.
Isabel freaks and cries out for help while looking for Amanda, but no one is around.
Years pass and Isabel and Josh look to pick up their lives by moving from their home. Josh works for a high-tech research company which pays very well judging by the sleek, spacious and secluded new home they’ve moved into. It’s tricked out with an amazing security system and video monitors throughout.
Josh and his partner Thomas (Kyle Davis, TV’s “Shameless”) have been hard at work on a project involving the dissecting of soundwaves. They both believe they are on to some big discovery that centers around another form of life being.
The unknown forces they’re messing with somehow manifest themselves through Isabel. She starts having bizarre visions that turn her into a different person. These shock waves or short waves that hit her, also renew and trigger memories and many of the traits that seemed to disappear after the loss of Amanda.
Shadowy, alien type figures soon begin to torment Isabel too. Where did they come from? How did they get here?
The reasons aren’t clearly defined, but trying to get to the bottom of this mystery is unsettling and intriguing and doesn’t quite add up.
Director/screenwriter Ryan Gregory deserves credit for “Shortwave” as it’s a creative and ambitious effort, but overall, the slow-paced movie never really reaches the dramatic level that it should. In the end, it feels more half-baked than alarming.
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Watch This Trailer For SHORTWAVE"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.