Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Shook (2021)

Streaming Services: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Shook (2021)
Genre: Horror
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Production/Distribution: The Squid Farm
Director: Jennifer Harrington
Writer: Jennifer Harrington, Alesia Glidewell
Actors: Grant Rosenmeyer, Nicola Posener, Emily Goss, Daisye Tutor, Octavius J. Johnson, Stephanie Simbari, Jeremy Phillips
Blurb from IMDb: When Mia, a social media star, becomes the target of an online terror campaign, she has to solve a series of games to prevent people she cares about from getting murdered. But is it real. Or is it just a game at her expense.

Selina’s Point of View:
I was interested in Shook the moment I saw the press kit. Anyone who reads the blog knows that I appreciate horror stories that aren’t afraid to include our updated technology. The only reason it didn’t make my Top 20 is because the trailer wasn’t available in time. Anything on that list has to have a public trailer, and Shook didn’t.
It started off a little campier than I thought it would, with a kill that didn’t entirely make sense. The death was something that should have been easily survivable. Had the flick gone full-camp, it would have been fine.
The woman going barefoot in a public bathroom, however, grossed me out more than any horror film ever has. Ew.
Moving on.

For the most part, there was a very 80s slasher vibe to it. Even the soundtrack felt like a call-back to bloody films of the past. In that way, I found it relatively entertaining.
I did not enjoy any of the plot resolution, though. It took a hard left and went into a serious, social commentary area.
It was all so easy to predict. I feel like the foreshadowing was too obvious. Yeah, you want that layer of storytelling that you can look back on and say, “ok, I see what they did there.” In this case, the movie felt like it was waving those moments in my face and spoiling the ending for me.
My final opinion is that Shook was watchable, but it just didn’t go far enough to feel great. It needed to either put both feet in the camp section, or both in the serious social commentary section. It didn’t commit to either, and I felt a little unfulfilled by the time it was over.
See Shook for yourself, February 18 on Shudder.

Cat’s Point of View:
Shook is definitely a good title for this movie. It perfectly describes my feelings right now in the wake of the final credits.
I’m not even sure where to begin.
Normally, after watching a movie like this I like to watch something else as a bit of a buffer. It gives me time to digest what happened in the film and how I really felt about it. This time, I’m diving right into my review while the dread and adrenaline still echo here in the dark with me.
I’m shook on multiple levels.
It’s safe to say that I got a little more than I bargained for. At first, I thought it would be some sort of mash-up between When A Stranger Calls (2006) and Scream (1996) with a smidge of social media tossed in for modern spice. Then the whole story turned on its ear.
One of the elements of the film that disturbed me was the fictitious disease mentioned and experienced. The illness sounded a hell of a lot like Multiple Sclerosis. It’s a neurological auto-immune disease for which there is no cure. I’m afraid I can’t draw parallels to the film directly for sake of spoilers.

I suffer from MS. It affected my legs and ability to walk first. I get around alright now, for the most part, but I know that I am on a bit of a ticking time clock. Anything – literally anything – controlled by nerves could be next. I take shots three times a week, and the treatment is keeping me stable. (I’m at 6 years and counting…)
I’m very grateful for good doctors and an outstanding support system provided by the drug manufacturer for my medicine. I stay positive as much as I can, because there’s no point in wallowing in worry – and stress makes it worse. But what if I couldn’t handle the uncertainty of the future? I do worry sometimes about how my husband and daughter will cope with what might happen if the disease progresses.
I don’t mean to ramble, but this particular situation makes this movie hit a little harder – and I imagine anyone else experiencing something similar might also feel this way. Picture someone severely afraid of spiders watching Arachnophobia (1990). Don’t get me wrong. Without elements of the plot hitting closer to home for comfort, it’s still a solid horror flick. For me, it just went to a whole other level.
There were plenty of twists to keep audiences guessing and bits that did their best to blindside. I also appreciated the fresh faces of the cast. (That’s not a pun on the fact this revolves around a makeup blogger – promise.)
There were a couple of plot holes and spotty places, but I felt them fairly easy to overlook in the bigger scheme of the movie. My interest is piqued enough to look forward to what this production team has in store for the future.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 43%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – None
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
Movie Trailer: 

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