Thursday, February 18, 2021

Shook Review: A Social Media Saw-like

Release date: February 18, 2021
Running time: 89 minutes
Starring Daisye Tutor (Guest House), Emily Goss (Snapshots), Nicola Posener (The Bold and the Beautiful), Octavius J. Johnson (Sleepless), Stephanie Simbari (Here and Now) and Grant Rosenmeyer (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend).
Directed by Jennifer Harrington (Housekeeping). 

A Shudder Original.  When Mia, a social media star, becomes the target of an online terror campaign, she has to solve a series of tests to prevent people she cares about from getting murdered. But is it real? Or is it just a game at her expense?  

Shook feels very modern with its take on influencers and technology. I like how large portions of the film took place via text message, voice chat, and other social media platforms.  And the movie has a nice trick of projecting the events and information from the phone into the real world.  Either through text messages projected on the walls, or pop ups with messages or videos, the film keeps you in the social media world without forcing you to spend the entire time staring at a phone.  And it uses an Alexa / Siri clone to also add some interaction outside of the normal phone and internet options.  And the overall premise is an interesting one, a cat and mouse type saw-style movie with more of a modern, social media setup. Mia (Tutor) is put through a series of challenges, each more difficult than the rest.  And Tutor does a good job of keeping your attention despite the limitations imposed by the film taking place mostly in her house.  

However, despite the exciting start of the film, Shook starts to drag on a little after the initial scenes.  It tries to keep the audience guessing and keep them in suspense, but it just feels like not much happens for large portions of it.  And part of this is due to the nature of how the story is told. Although the film does a good job of making a social media / phone majority film feel less tied to the phone than I would have expected, it still requires a lot of time alone with the protagonist focusing on things occurring outside of their area.  It is exciting for a few challenges, but as they continue the sameness of the setting starts to wear on you.  And when the big twist occurs, it was a surprise but also didn't make a ton of sense.  As with many horror films, the journey to the ending is more of an experience than the ultimate conclusion.  But if you want a Saw meets Unfriended film, then like and subscribe to Shook.

Shook's takes on social media with smart tricks to help tell an online focused story will have you like and subscribe to this social media Saw-like film.

Rent it.

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Shook is available to stream on Shudder starting February 18, 2021. 

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