Thoughts on “Shook”

So the second of the two “Shudder” movies that I accidentally bought was “Shook”.  The story here is that a woman who is an online influencer with group of her friends goes to stay at her sister’s house to watch her dog while the sister takes a trip.  Soon after, strange things start happening, and she starts getting phone calls and texts from a strange person who demands that she do certain things and offers her a choice between her friend’s life and the life of the dog, at which point she chooses her friend and the dog is seemingly killed.  Soon after, she’s offered the choice between the life of her friend and the life of her sister, and she chooses her friend because her sister has a fatal disease — that her mother also died from — and she figures that her friend has more time to live and so will use that life more productively.  Soon after, it is revealed that all of the friends were pranking her and broadcasting it to get hits for their channel, which ticks her off.  But then her friends start dying one by one, and she becomes convinced that it’s real this time.  It turns out that her sister was the one who instigated all of this, but was using it as a test for her sister to see if she’d keep her promise to look after the sister as she died from the disease, as the sister did for the mother while the main character pretty much avoided all of it.  Since she’s now convinced that she wouldn’t, the sister tries to kill her, but the woman manages to kill her and escape.

I figured out the first twist pretty early on in the movie, and was wondering if the second time things started up it was going to be another fake out just to freak her out some more.  That obviously didn’t happen but it might have been interesting if it had.  The main issue with the plot here is that the sister is a little too insane a little too quickly to make it work, and the handwave that the disease is responsible for this makes her legitimate complaints a bit weaker.  It’s also never really clear just how bad the main character was during that time and at what point the sister went insane (it is revealed that she killed her mother and then left her embalmed in the closet, but the former could have been a mercy killing that meant that the latter was her being driven insane out of guilt).  Also, why all her friends would sign on to torment her that way is a bit strange.  That being said, it seems to have been for money and revelations about all of them explain why money was a factor for them.

But given all its flaws, it’s still a pretty good movie.  For a minimalist movie — most of it takes place in one house and focuses entirely on her — it does a good job of building suspense and developing the character of the main character, and making her into a sympathetic character from a clearly flawed character.  It’s interesting to follow her and we really want to see her win in the end.

That being said, it also makes the mistake of trying to make a shocking ending that might be setting up for a sequel, as the sister, who was presumed dead, shows up on camera — most of the events are shown on an Internet camera view — alive and insane.  The problem is that she really only had a grudge against her sister and she wasn’t going to be able to try the same sort of tests anymore, especially after being committed to killing her outright in this movie.  So if this leads to a sequel, it will be a completely different type of movie, and if a sequel is made that is the same type of movie.

Still, this was a much better movie than the first two Shudder movies that I watched, and like “Stay Out of the Attic” it will go into the box of movies that I might watch again at some point, which is again far better than the first two movies managed.

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2 Responses to “Thoughts on “Shook””

  1. Thoughts on “The Cleansing Hour” | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] — were really bad, and two of them — “Stay Out of the Attic” and “Shook” — were actually relatively good, and also happened to be the later ones.  This movie, then, […]

  2. Thoughts on “An Unquiet Grave” | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] And then I accidentally picked up a couple others — “Stay Out of the Attic” and “Shook” — that I found a lot more interesting, and then I followed it up with the decent “The […]

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