Shadow Hours | Chicago Reader

Shadow Hours

Isaac Eaton directed his own screenplay, an intriguing noir whose conceptual sophistication is partly undermined by naive execution. Michael (Balthazar Getty), a recovering alcoholic and father to be, is given a guided tour of after-hours Los Angeles by Stuart (Peter Weller), a wealthy sensation seeker who claims Michael reminds him of his younger brother. Stuart engages Michael—who earnestly tries to explain to his wife why a man is paying him to hang out—in swirling, self-referential conversations about the shocking things that happen in the wee hours (“Half the world's problems are caused by people who can't sleep at night”) as they visit underground clubs, warehouses, back rooms, dens, and theaters. But the behavior they witness or participate in isn't that shocking; even a sequence featuring real self-mutilations (Ron Athey was a creative consultant) might as well have been phony. This plot, driven by the question of when Michael will start drinking again, is overlaid by a thriller narrative, in which a cool and funny detective (Peter Greene) tries to catch a serial killer. 95 min.

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