When a story becomes too fantastic and passing the point of belief when it’s suppose to feel true, doesn’t speak very highly of the story’s quality. The draining feeling of being sucked into such can only leave a bad taste in a viewer’s mouth. Why does this happen, you ask? The story starts to stretch, reaching a highly unobtainable goal to which we’re suppose to believe that can happen when we know for a fact that there is about a zero to null chance of that event from ever occurring in real time. If a fantastic story done correctly, your brain doesn’t have to stretch beyond it’s belief and accept the novel nature of the story’s reason or direction. Isidro Ortiz’s Shiver, not to be confused with David Cronenberg’s Shivers, is exactly the correct method in suspending our disbelief below our threshold of reason.
Santi is a tormented high school kid with an over protective mother. His severe physical allergic reaction to sunlight and his teeth deformity has labeled him forever a vampire boy by the school bullies. When the doctor suggests moving Santi to a dimmer part of the country, he and his mother waste no time settling into a small village nestled deep with in the crevice of mountains. Peace and quiet is far from achieved as local murders have been pinned to Santi who quickly believes he is the next victim of a monstrous forest killer.
Automatically you think, “deformity is evil.” This culturally perspective films pits two classic and undisputed rivals – nature versus nurture. Realistic, the more difficult part in believing in one or the other. Shiver picks for you. Giving nature a more sympathetic light with Santi is his incurable ailment and his high school tortures makes him a suitable, if not also relatable, character to be an unlike hero, nurture, on the other hand, has been bred to be vicious, cruel and unmerciful as the “beast,” as I will call it in order not to spoil anything, was brought up amongst beasts and taught how to fend for itself. The Yin-Yang structure hides the evil within the black side much like the “beast” is stalks the forest, feeding on the blood of those who wish to hurt it (think the way Predator hunted).
The “beast” is something I’ve haven’t seen explored much into cinema; frankly, you don’t hear much about this such transformation in the real world and the best thing about this transformation is that one could believe in the existence of it. Could this have happened to the particular of the specimen that the film relinquishes as it’s “beast?” Probably not likely, but in a broader spectrum, this could be a real research project for some eager beaver college kid (think Tarzan).
Second Sight’s release of Shiver has been released in America under Dark Sky, so you know it’s good and entertaining. Second Sight is an United Kingdom release company and can be a great alternative if the Dark Sky release is unobtainable; hell, it might even be cheaper than it’s U.S. counterpart.