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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SHIVER (2013) Review

Shiver failed to impress me. Not that I had any clear cut preconception of what I might see in the movie. The synopsis sound interesting enough though it seemed to have one fatal flaw, it was going to be ordinary. I knew it might be ordinary. Ordinary does not mean bad; it simply means that when it comes time to sit back and talk about it I’m not have going to have much to say. Danielle Harris is in everything these days, and I wish she’d be picky. A girl’s gotta eat and besides, this felt like it might steer her away from related Hatchet fodder at least for a short time. I’m afraid this isn’t the movie that will do that for her. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t pop.

Synopsis from Image: 

Danielle Harris (Hatchet II & III) stars with Casper van Dien (Starship Troopers) and John Jarratt (Wolf Creek) in this savagely entertaining horror-thriller. The Gryphon is a serial killer with a flair for the dramatic – and a grisly trophy case of victims. But when he sets out to add shy, young secretary Wendy Alden (Harris) to his macabre collection, he gets more than he bargained for. Unfortunately, Wendy’s escape from his first assault only deepens the killer’s twisted obsession – and affection – for her. Always one step ahead of pursuing Detective Delgado (van Dien), the brilliant psychopath penetrates police lines at will, circling ever closer to the target of his deranged fantasies. Until, finally, the only thing standing between Wendy and the Gryphon’s unthinkable desires is her own desperate, indomitable will to survive. 

The overall movie is very dark. It’s relatively quiet, and it’s begrudgingly slow. It’s sort of a plain old killer movie. There’s nothing terrible original or unique about the killer or at least nothing that sticks out to me. Maybe I grew up during a time where my killers were either completely hidden or were so damn iconic that a run of the mill homicidal maniac won’t get under my skin. That would mean it’s the old adage, “it’s not you, it’s me”.  When you read the advertising you expect something along the lines of Silence of the Lambs. Perhaps it be less cerebral, and maybe you get a couple good performances but ultimately there’s no Jody Foster. There’s no Anthony Hopkins. You do have Harris at the helm which is fine and good because she performs as expected. This isn’t a breakout role for her but it’s not a bad performance by any means. I don’t follow this type of movie to feel disturbed anymore. I follow it to identify with the victim, and see if they filmmaker can get me to care about their cast enough to continue watching.  

If you’re going to give me a movie about an deranged killer, you’re going to have to do more these days. The bar has been raised which means that while Shiver may not be a bad movie, it simply isn’t a great movie.  Shiver just ends up feeling generic though it does have fun cover art. To be fair, this isn’t my favorite subgenre anyway.  

 

-Dr. TERROR

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