In Portland, a killer (John Jarratt, Wolf Creek) who calls himself The Gryphon (sounds like "Griffin") delights in offing women and, as the aforementioned line has it, keeps their heads in jars as trophies. His latest target is a secretary named Wendy (Danielle Harris), who's too meek to ask for a raise at work yet is scrappy enough to escape The Gryphon's clutches. Silly rabbit, The Gryphon doesn't give up that easily!
But you might. Based upon a mass-market paperback novel popular in airports in 1992, Shiver resembles a made-for-TV movie from that era. It's visually flat, poorly lit, oddly framed, overly orange, dispiritingly dull and clunkily written; says the police captain, "Just catch that freaky monster. I want him dead." All that's missing is a fist-pound on the desk.
For any possible reason someone might want to watch Shiver, I hereby offer a recent alternative. Fans of Harris who'd like to see her front-line a horror flick should see Hatchet III instead. For co-star Casper Van Dien doing the detection thing (and really well, I might add) in a chiller, put The Pact in your queue. For a serial-killer thriller that's truly thrilling, seek out The Bletchley Circle. Heck, even for label-heads loyal to RLJ Entertainment, try Evidence.
In other words, try anything but Shiver. Rod Lott
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