Shiver is a sick and twisted tale of unspeakable horror. The beauty of this film lies with the performance of John Jarratt as the serial killer named the Gryphon. The new film from UK directed Julian Richards (The Last Horror Movie) stars Danielle Harris as Wendy Alden a young woman constantly being pestered by her mother to improve her life while a serial killer looms in her town. The serial killer is played by John Jarratt who is a local jewelry store worker obsessed with the women who buy their expensive pieces on a regular. He also has a passion for killing these women in a horrific manner as he collects their heads which are his most expensive pieces.
What stands out the most about Shiver is the wonderful performance of Jarratt as the killer. Danielle Harris has played similar characters before and did a fine job complimenting Jarratt who in my opinion was truly the star. Now don’t get me wrong Harris is more than capable of being a leading lady in horror but her performance pales in comparison to Jarratts. The idea of the Gryphon is intriguing as we see how he falls into almost a trance during his killings as if its releasing a euphoric stimulus in him as he rips the head off each victim. Casper Van Dien and Rae Dong Chong play the two detectives assigned to the task of finding the Gryphon and these two vets show they could play these roles in their sleep with flawless execution.
The relentless passion to pursue Wendy by the Gryphon is on full display in Shiver as time after time she has the ability to escape his grasp with no avail. I think horror fans will enjoy the brutality of the Gryphon as shows no regard for human emotion on his quest to collect his items.
Shiver is very similar to many serial killer films that are popular today and should be mentioned as a great selection. Shiver is filled with true horror elements of tension and suspense even though the killer is present throughout the film as is the star of the picture. I constantly tell people that the serial killer genre in horror has a ton of good films that people need to see. Shiver is one of them as it reminds us that sometimes it’s OK to root for the bad guy.
Shiver is available on DVD October 8th. It is directed by Julian Richards and written by Brian Harper and Robert D. Weinbach. Shiver stars Danielle Harris (Halloween), John Jarratt (Wolf Creek) and Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers). It has a running time of 90 minutes Rated R as is being distributed by RLJ Entertainment. Shiver is available on DVD for an SRP of $27.97.