Shook (2021) – Movie Review
21st Feburay 2021 Written by Peter Walkden
Mia (Daisye Tutor) is a superstar when it comes to her fame on social media. She is well known for promoting premium cosmetic products under her username @makeupbymia. While her social media profile shows the world nothing but perfection, in the real world, Mia is dealing with a few personal matters, especially when it comes to her family life.
Sadly, Mia’s mother passed due to Livingston’s disease and to make matters worse, her older sister, Nicole appears to be following down the same path as her mother. When her sister is required to leave home to receive treatment from a particular hospital, Mia offers to babysit Nicole’s dog instead of doing a live stream with her boyfriend and her two best friends. While Mia is confident she can take care of the dog independently, her community all live in fear as the news continues to report the many murders conducted by the “South Land Dog Killer” who is still on the loose. Until recently, the killer was well known for murdering dogs but now they have started to murder people.
As the night begins, Mia receives a phone call from an unknown person wanting to play a series of games, and the stakes are the lives of all of those she cares for including her family and her best friends. Mia begins to question if she is experiencing the real thing or just a social media prank. Either way, she begins to play to save lives. Can Mia survive the night and discover the truth to everything that is occurring?
Leading performances throughout this film are outstanding. Naturally, I am talking about the actress Daisye Tutor who plays Mia. As a character, this is undoubtedly someone who goes through a significant roller-coaster of emotion for one night. We also see her character make some extremely challenging choices and deal with multiple surprises at every turn. I enjoyed the top performance, and it is incredibly pleasing and fresh. I felt the actress delivered something extraordinary as the performance alone truly heightens the film.
Shook is a very creative film and introduced a style of editing I have not seen in cinema before. Several creative choices stood out to me while watching the movie, and during many moments I was pleased at the level of creativity, especially when it came to the use of modern technology. When it comes to all the social media talk, I found it quite relatable and positive even if some moments may seem a little too far-fetched to accept. It’s still fun.
The pacing of this film is excellent as it never drags or feels dulls. It also does not take long for the film to introduce us to our lead and the film provides a nice balance for Mia’s world on social media, and the real world dealing with her family health matters and questioning her best friends. The film enjoys throwing a substantial horror element in the mix and movie lovers will have a wild time with this film and all the surprises. Once the film got underway, I was invested in knowing the film’s outcome, and I questioned if Mia would survive the night. The film’s twist (or should I say twists!) were never predictable even though at the end of the film I questioned myself as to how I did not see that reveal coming. It is a great feeling to watch a movie that you cannot predict, something that also “Shook” my nerves.
The selection of music here is brilliant, starting with the film’s opening credit track. While the musical tracks never felt the same, the musical score would change multiple times to suit the moment on screen. There were so many times where the selection of musical tracks surprised me and for the majority felt rather fitting (except the song selection for the end credits- that one did not quite work for me). But the variety of pop music and synth-music tracks were a significant thumbs up.
Overall, I am pleased to say I had an absolute blast watching this film. A young girl who receives a phone call leading to several ‘games’ might seem like nothing new, but I assure you, 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. Sure, some technology elements might seem a little too far-fetched to accept, but this honestly did not bother me. Shook is a new style of horror with plenty to offer which will please many movie lovers and leave them feeling like they’ve just been on a wild roller-coaster ride.
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SHOOK MOVIE (2021)
DAISYE TUTOR (Actress)
NICOLA POSENER (Actress)
JENNIFER HARRINGTON (Director & Writer)
ALESIA GLIDEWELL (Writer)
TARA L. CRAIG (Producer)