If Shiver has one thing going for it, it’s that I can identify with its serial killer, The Gryphon. To clarify, the opening sequence of Shiver features this guy beating a perfect, model looking waitress for fudging ‘Lenore’, from Edgar Allan Poe’s work, as ‘Eleanor’ (which is her sister’s name which she prefers over her own, ‘Kathy’). Massive rage against beautiful, stupid women – definitely a nice hook to keep one watching.
Yet, as expected, Shiver begins to fall apart quickly. Usually I get irritated by movies that take themselves seriously when they’re this epically bad – yet Shiver had me laughing. The story itself is somewhat interesting, but add in bad CGI and bad acting, and wow – I’m choking on my lunch at the unintentional humor! I had tears watching little Danielle Harris, as Wendy Alden, trying to drive The Gryphon off the road, and, when she managed to, heaving, sobbing guffaws erupted as the car engulfed in flames.
The story tries to gain depth with various plot points: Wendy’s heartless mother calls her daughter and berates her after she’s been attacked by The Gryphon; The Gryphon is relentless in his drive to kill Wendy; the potential boyfriend/friend of Wendy’s gets in the way minutes after his introduction and dies; an attractive detective that obviously wants to get it on with the Wendster doesn’t seem to be that great of a cop; Wendy constantly screws up every time she tries to get away from the killer – pretty much everything is thrown in except a real explanation as to why The Gryphon wants to cut off chick’s heads.
Seriously, I have no idea what the hell was going on in this movie, yet I was strangely entertained by the sheer fact that it is absolutely awful. The flaws in the movie are so incredibly bountiful that I was simply hypnotized. Hypnotized with an endless string of questions in my mind. First and foremost, why is this dude doing this? Why is the Wendster so dumb? Why is the detective brooding yet lifeless? Why do I now want to watch Commando? Ok, I can answer the last one – Rae Dawn Chong is in this movie as a detective whose point of being there is absent.
It’s a shame when oso much money is spent on movies that simply are not good. Ultimately, with shoddy acting and minimal scares, Shiver is a patched together story that induces lots of unintentional laughs, but never its namesake.