SHOOK (2021) Reviews of social media horror soon on Shudder

   

Shook is a 2021 American horror film about a young female social media star who becomes the target of an online terror campaign.

Written and directed by Jennifer Harrington (Housekeeping​) based on a story by Alesia Glidewell and produced by Tara L. Craig. The Squid Farm production stars 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.

Plot:

When Mia (Daisye Tutor), 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?​

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Despite a killer central performance, it short-changes its supporting cast with delivering shoddy dialogue into smartphone cameras. The film’s smatterings of engaging and intriguing social commentary are only ever brief flashes, with generic genre stodge almost always getting in the way.” Flickering Myth

“The premise, the subtext, the style … there’s plenty to work with there, but it’s all squandered on a story that can’t decide what it wants to be or, indeed, what it wants to say; lacking the gleeful energy of Netflix’s similarly influencer-focussed Spree, or Black Mirror’s skilled exploration of our relationship with technology. Had Shook committed to either path it could have really worked.” HeyUGuys

“With the concept being dragged out slightly more than it warrants, the story would potentially be better suited to a short format film; though Shook still has plenty to retain the social media addicts. With some interesting commentary of digital selves versus private selves and perceived reality versus stark truth, Harrington injects the standard tormented babysitter convention with a glossy new facade.” The Hollywood News

“The film never fully embraces a cheesy, B-movie vibe and gets too caught up in trying to surprise the audience. The overall structure becomes less Scream and more like a giraffe on PCP going on a feeding frenzy. ​Shook is confused, with it’s very few strengths never fully realized, and so many plot twists it just becomes tangled.” Killer Horror Critic

Shook adds precisely nothing of value to the growing subgenre of malevolent phone pest movies, and breaks the rules of the slashers it hopes to emulate, too […] Halfway through comes a twist that renders the preceding bit pointless, then another twist that explains the killer’s motives and methods in a manner that’s so far outside of the bounds of plausibility you begin to wonder if director Harrington has ever met another human being at all.” NME

” …this film is filled with new elements. The film’s twists and turns surprised me at every moment, and nothing here was predictable. The top performance by Daisye Tutor is brilliant, and the selection of musical numbers and the film’s creative style and editing was also a significant standout. As the credits rolled, I left on a high from everything I witnessed.” Peter Walkden

“Maybe it’s just too hard to make Instagram and YouTube influencers seem appealing to anyone who isn’t already a part of that culture. Or maybe somebody needs to make a film centered around characters a bit more substantial and likable than fashionistas and bro culture pranksters. Because despite a couple of good performances and some nice camerawork, Shook […] failed to work for me.” Voices from the Balcony

Shook probably isn’t a film which is going to change your life: it does, however, offer a snapshot of where we are now and crafts an entertaining horror yarn out of that. It’s refreshingly unpretentious, and it calls to other films in the horror canon in a way which suggests a real fondness for the genre. Sometimes, that’s all you want.” Warped Perspective

Release:

Shook premieres on the Shudder platform on February 18, 2021.

Cast and characters:

Daisye Tutor … Mia
Emily Goss … Nicole
Nicola Posener … Lani
Octavius J. Johnson … Santi
Stephanie Simbari … Jade
Grant Rosenmeyer … Kellan
Jeremy Phillips … Hotel Operator

Trailer:

YouTube reviews: