THE BAD SHEPHERD is a new thriller that plays out like psychological warfare. Friends force the hand of each other and betrayal is not far behind. A very solid thriller albeit too long. Read our full The Bad Shepherd movie review here!

THE BAD SHEPHERD is a movie that deals with the “What would you do?”-scenario. It’s a psychological thriller that even has a streak of something supernatural. However, that particular element is just a tiny fragment as it deals mostly with human nature.

While this movie is a very solid thriller that entertains and engages its audience, I did find it to be a tad too long. There was a lull towards the third act, which could’ve been done better. Still, I would definitely recommend checking this out.

Continue reading our The Bad Shepherd movie review below. Find it on VOD & Digital on February 23, 2024.

What would you do?

The Bad Shepherd starts out as a classic road trip movie, but this only lasts for a very short while. A group of friends are heading out to go on a hunting trip in the remote wilderness. It’s a tight-knit group of friends, who know one another well. Though maybe not quite as well as they thought.

Before they even get to their cabin, the trip takes a very dark turn. A mysterious woman is wandering around in the middle of the road and they hit her with their car. When they check for vitals, they discover that she has also been shot, and is very much dead now.

This alone wouldn’t make for much of a story as the woman was walking in the middle of the road. However, the man driving also had a bit to drink. Again, this could easily be remedied by having someone else in the group claim that they were driving when the accident happened.

No, the real issue is the fact that the woman was carrying a leather duffle bag. And it is chockful of cash!

They’re in the middle of nowhere with no witnesses, a dead body, and a whole lot of money ripe for their picking. However, not everyone in the group is crazy about the idea that they should take the money and leave the woman. This is when their friendship is first put to the test.

And it is about to get a lot worse!

The Bad Shepherd (2024) – Review | Thriller

Guilt and paranoia ensue

Their loyalties are tested and they clearly aren’t on the same page. At all!

For some, it’s the guilt of having taken someone’s life and leaving the loved ones of that person with no closure. For others, it’s the paranoia that consumes them. Simply put, they do not trust each other at all. The one most eager to keep the money is quick to get the others even deeper into this mess.

In his mind, it’s the only way to ensure that everyone will keep the secret. Things go from bad to a whole lot worse when the bag’s mysterious owner shows up. He seems absolutely fearless and continuously gives the four friends a very simple offer: Give me the bag, and you can leave with no repercussions.

The small cast all deliver very strong performances that keep the audience on the edge of their seats as they watch this psychological thriller. The four friends are portrayed by Christos Kalabogias, Scotty Tovar, Brett Zimmerman, and Justin Taite.

The owner of the suitcase, Sidney, is portrayed by the director of The Bad Shepherd. His name is Geo Santini and he portrays this character with just the right mix of charm, superiority, and fearlessness. It could easily have been over the top, but he keeps toeing the line without crossing it. Awesome!

Watch The Bad Shepherd on VOD or Digital

As just mentioned, Geo Santini is the director of The Bad Shepherd while also turning in a very cool performance in a key role. The script comes from Ryan David Jahn, and I can see why Geo Santini was intrigued by this story.

On a personal note, I desperately wanted the final reveal to go in another direction. I expected the way it went but hoped for another ending that would’ve been of a deeper supernatural variety. Well, to me. Still, I did enjoy the ending, though it felt a tad lacking to me in terms of fully explaining the motive.

The Bad Shepherd is quite brutal at times, especially in terms of peer pressure and bullying. Also, it does get bloody, but we horror fans are used to that kind of thing. The runtime is 91 minutes and it could’ve been a little tighter, but still stays around that hour-and-a-half sweet spot, so I can’t complain too much.

The Bad Shepherd is out on Digital and On Demand on February 23, 2024.


Director: Geo Santini
Writer: Ryan David Jahn
Cast: Christos Kalabogias, Scotty Tovar, Geo Santini, Brett Zimmerman, Justin Taite, Andrew Pagana, Annie Gonzalez


In remote wilderness, a group of friends embark on a fateful hunting trip that takes a dark turn when they unintentionally take the life of a mysterious stranger carrying a bag brimming with illicit cash. As guilt and paranoia consume them, their loyalties are pushed to the brink. However, their nightmare intensifies when the bag’s mysterious owner begins a relentless pursuit, forcing the friends into a treacherous game of survival where their bonds are tested, secrets unravel, and the desperate quest for redemption takes an unforgiving toll on their once unbreakable friendships.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
Latest posts by Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard (see all)