Synopsis: The Shephard tells the story of a fighter pilot on his way home who gets lost over the North Sea on Christmas Eve of 1957.
When an RAF Pilot by the name of Freddie gets to leave for Christmas. He is looking forward to getting home to spend time with his family and can’t get in his plane to fly home fast enough. However, as he flies his jet over the North Sea his craft suffers a major instrument failure due to bad electrics and his fuel gauge is nearly empty. Having checked and double-checked all his instruments Freddie is genuinely fearful that he is going to die and is preparing to ditch his plane in the sea. Before he does he says a little prayer and talks about how sad he is about all the things he’ll never get to experience with his family.
At this point, Freddie picks up a radio signal from a Canadian pilot who is flying an old World War two era de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito. The Canadian pilot guides Freddy’s plane down to a nearby airfield, which turns out to be an abandoned base that was closed after the war. Its lone guardian tells Freddie about the pilot who guided him down and reveals that he’d died during the War when he’d flown out to do his usual job of guiding damaged planes home from the frontline.
Ben Radcliffe is fantastic in the role of Freddie and captures the dread and fear of dying and not seeing family again brilliantly. John Travolta is really good as the mysterious World War II pilot who guides Freddie home. Sadly this is the first decent film have seen Travolta in since his Get Shorty movies. So it is nice to see a bit of a comeback for an actor that has seen better days.
The Shephard is a fantastic short movie with a very simple story, which is kind of faith-based without it being religious in any way shape, or form. In simple terms, it is a ghost story, but it’s a ghost story where the ghosts or spirits for want of another word are doing some good and not looking to frighten the life out of people. This film is a wonderful Christmas gift for Disney Plus subscribers and it’s well worth a look if you haven’t checked it out already.
- CGI & Stunts9.5
- Incidental Music9.8