Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Integrity from Arrow and a Masterpiece from Cronenberg: Shivers
on 31 October 2016
Okay, the most important thing first: I bought my copy of the blu-ray / DVD Steelbook in late October 2016 and it was the 2nd Pressing with the previously missing scenes restored. Huge credit to Arrow who said they would fix this and they have. I presume that Amazon's stock is of the newly updated cut Steelbook as this is what they sent me. Great stuff.
The film itself looks astonishing. I first saw this on grainy television in the 90s. How far we have come; I never thought I would see the movie looking this clean and refined. The restoration is outstanding as is the sound. Extras include a retrospective and documentary on the making. But the true star is the film in pristine definition.
Cronenberg's body horror classic is still just that: a classic. Concepts of sexual impulse, venereal disease, sterility and blandness versus sexual promiscuity and parasites in the body (four years before the latter hit the mainstream with Ridley Scott's "Alien") helped establish the director as a modern master of filmmaking and script writing. The scene with the nurse's monologue to Dr. St Luc is like a live tap into Cronenberg's mind; a wonderful piece of dialogue from somebody who was obviously bristling with unprecedented ideas and themes. Other aspects also help elevate this film to a higher level of movie: beautiful camerawork including some very effective first-person shots, committed acting from the cast, spot-on special effects and mind-blowing sound effects. Cronenberg knows that there are limitations to what he can do budget-wise but, in working this into the film, he is endlessly inventive.
This is the serious Seventies of horror. Pre-80s tongue-in-cheek, naff humour and self-indulgence; "Shivers" is an unrelenting dialogue in concepts that echo long after the film credits roll, not least because pretty much everyone can identify with these feelings and fears. In a new era of horror filmmaking, Cronenberg was way ahead of his time.
A true classic of horror filmmaking by one of the genuinely great modern masters of cinema. Remarkable.