Mike Sargent on going from director to film critic and back again with horror thriller ‘From the Shadows’


The indie thriller From the Shadows had its Los Angeles premiere this week, and thanks to a waiver from SAG-AFTRA, its cast was in attendance, including veteran character Keith David and Oscar nominee Bruce Davison.

Davison plays the leader of a supernatural cult whose members perish in a mysterious blaze. A skeptical colleague of his, played by David, goes missing, and afterward, an expert in debunking paranormal activity (Selena Anduze) tries to find the truth from the cult’s survivors.

The movie was directed and co-written by Mike Sargent, who has gone from calling the shots on indie movies like Personals to working as a storyboard artist to a radio show host and movie critic. 

François Truffaut and Rod Lurie — you know, they were film critics who became … filmmakers,” he joked to ABC Audio. 

“But I was actually the other way around. I was a filmmaker who became a film critic. And I will say, being a filmmaker and then becoming a film critic, it’s sort of like being undercover. You know, ‘Ahhh … these are the people who are judging my work."” 

Sargent says he’s been a fan of X-Men alum Davison since the 1980 film The Lathe of Heaven. “Matter of fact, I used to play soundbites from that movie at the beginning of my radio show for, like, over a decade,” he recalls.

He adds, “Then like 10 years ago, I actually had him live on my radio show … And then 10 years later, now I got to direct him in the film,” Sargent says, calling the situation surreal.  

From the Shadows is in limited release, ahead of an exclusive on-demand run on Vudu September 29 through October 28, just in time for Halloween.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.