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SHIVER
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Julian Richards

Starring:
Danielle Harris
John Jarratt
Caspar Van Dien
Rae Dawn Chong
Valerie Harper

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Wendy (Danielle Harris) is a meek, mild secretary who manages to get caught up in the web of a serial killer (John Jarratt) while the bodies pile up around her. A couple of detectives (Casper Van Dien and Rae Dawn Chong) try to help her out.
Is it good movie?
Though it does have its moments, Shiver didn't quite grab me like I'd hoped. Julian Richards (of The Last Horror Movie fame) brings us this relatively generic thriller-type flick that although is quite cliched, manages to stick in a few so-so disturbing moments that kept me involved enough. It's no Seven, and surely no Lecter movie, but it's not so bad.

First up, I'd like to give some props to John Jarratt, the dude who plays Franklin "The Gryphon" Rood- our killer. You may remember him from Wolf Creek, as he was the charismatic murderer from that one. Here, he's a violent, unstable character who feels wronged by society and just can't leave well enough alone. He's one of those awkward social outcasts who has been rejected by women one too many times and takes his pain out on them instead.

Speaking of props, big ups to Danielle Harris, who carries a lot of this film's load on her back as well. She's our victim in peril and does a fine job of it (with an impressive range, going from someone who's afraid to ask her boss for a raise to someone who has to face a murderer). Her Wendy character gets sucked into the Gryphon's trap early on, and manages to escape. This gets the psycho killer thinking that he can make her fall in love with him, which cues the involvement of our detectives, and sets up the rest of the film.

The detectives are not overly impressive and can come off as dumb, letting Wendy get in all kinds of trouble (and somehow missing a really blatant disguise attempt). It's cool to see these two character actors get work, but they don't have a whole lot to do and they fail to really add much to the flick. Another problem is just spending way too much time with Jarratt's character- the guy's clearly trying his best and turns in a good performance but he's overexposed and things can get downright goofy at times. Plus, he just seems to always be RIGHT behind Harris' character- moments where if you spend too much time thinking about them don't add up whatsoever.

To sum up, things here are pretty by-the-books, but our cast is giving a great effort despite a pretty clunky and lame script. This is pretty much TV movie-style stuff that won't blow your mind, but may just keep your attention for its runtime.
Video / Audio

Video: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, decent, sharp and colorful. Just fine.

Audio: Dolby 5.1 surround delivers quite well, nothing overly incredible here, totally serviceable.
The Extras
Nothing!
Last Call
I just can't think of a reason why I'd insist anyone seek this out, though fans of Jarratt and Harris should consider it. Ultimately it's forgettable, and though it tries to cram in a fair amount of ideas, they don't quite add up.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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