Shaky Shivers (2023)

One thing you can’t accuse Sung Kang’s horror comedy of being is boring. It might not re-invent the wheel in the realm of horror comedies, but it never is actually boring. Sung Kang manages to concoct what is basically a comedy about two best friends tested to their limits when one of the friends is wholly convinced that she might turn in to a werewolf very soon. Along the way there are so many hilarious incidents as well as events that seem to indicate director Kang was intent on throwing everything in their movie but the kitchen sink in its ninety minute run time.

After finding herself bitten by a mysterious animal, Lucy becomes convinced that she will transform into a fearsome werewolf. Joined by her best friend Karen, the two embark on a campy adventure filled with magic and mayhem, as they look to do battle with a throat-slashing creature ripped right out of an 80s horror movie.

As I mentioned, “Shaky Shivers” doesn’t re-invent the wheel, but it gets by mainly on charisma. One of the aspects of its production that hinders it is that the movie is primarily a comedy about two twenty something girls facing this new change in their lives. The whole lycanthropy and curse is kind of the aspect that introduces itself in to their seemingly mundane lives and turns it upside down. If you meet it halfway, Sung Kang’s film works thanks to the performances by its cast. Brooke Markham and Vyvy Nguyen especially are great in their respective roles as Lucy and Karen, two high school buddies thrown for a loop at the prospect of this supernatural element in their lives.

Nguyen and Markham have wonderful chemistry together and deliver their dialogue with sharp comic timing and great urgency. Respectively, Jimmy Bellinger is also great as their co-worker Eric. Despite being obviously low in budget, director Kang makes good use of the small cast, providing a reason for the mostly simplistic and minimalist settings. This contributes to this weird mystique for the entire film to where you’re never quite sure what is going to happen next. And for sure I was thrown for a loop for the most of the production. There’s a weird witch, and zombies, and somewhere down the line some weird cult members.

It’s all so seemingly random but amounts to a lot of bits that worked most of the time. I just liked the randomness that unfolded in the duration of the film. To add to the experience the special effects by Atlantic West Effects is just top notch all around making the most of the horror element of the film with some gnarly looking monsters, all around. While “Shaky Shivers” is by no means a masterpiece, I loved creativity and comic mind set behind it all. The talented cast, and strong direction more than compensate for the tonally confused script when all is said and done.

In Theaters Nationwide September 21st.