Everyone has their staples for Halloween watching, like John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and “Nightmare Before Christmas.” But be forewarned, gentle reader, because your master of Scarimonies (God, I sound like the Crypt Keeper), Dukey Flyswatter, will suggest some gems and themes that may have flown drastically under your radar, like a schizophrenic Vampire Bat. Week four, we focus on movies that defy categorization, but are just plain creepy.
Director: Isidro Ortiz. Stars: Junio Valverde, Mar Sodupe, Francesca Orella
“Shiver” is a dark, pervasive horror film with a vulnerable child as its main protagonist. If you like the moody and somber tones of films like “Let The Right One In” and “The Devil’s Backbone,” this one is for you. It will send a chill up your spine, even if you are jaded on the subject of this genre.
Santi is a young high school student with a serious allergy to sunlight, which only exacerbates his vulnerability as the nerdy kid and prime target for bullies. To make life easier for him, the family doctor suggests that they move to a remote wooded location where the sun is filtered and the shadows are many. Unfortunately, mother and son are not greeted warmly by the townsfolk, and Santi’s personal relations with the children of his age are even more strained than before. When the school bullies are found torn to pieces, he is the most likely suspect. About mid-way through the film we find out that Santi has a secret protector that hides in the darkest part of the woods. It’s a nice surprise.
It takes a while to get moving, but with the aid of a decent story, well mounted kill scenes and professional acting, Shiver (Eskalario) is a welcome edition to the Spanish horror milieu.