The film is about a couple of college students who are squatting in an abandoned hospital. New to the crowd is Clark (Tanya Dempsey), a mathematics student looking for cheap housing since college proved to be on the expensive side. As soon as she shows up a lot of mysterious occurrences start up; strange ancient symbols appear on the walls and floors of the building, scary sounds throughout the hallways of the hospital and eventually people turning up either missing or dead.
Shrieker actually has a rather strong flow to it, and I thought it built up a nice mystery along the way. Most of the characters aren't interesting, and I'm sure that most of the males in the film were selected because of DeCotaeu's love of muscular male skin in his films. But the film manages to make their predicament rather thrilling, and I liked the Scooby-Doo-like detective structure that the film contained. All of this seemed to be building up to a rather exciting finale.
But the ending is where Shrieker lost me. It's amazing how the last 10 or 15 minutes of a film can break a film. The monster of the film was decently designed, but the film didn't develop it that well. I'm still not fully sure what exactly this creature is, or what its purpose was. The reveal at the end onto why this creature is stalking the hallways of this hospital wasn't that strong, and a major letdown considering the momentous build up. And the showdown between the final survivors and the monster was just pathetic.
What a disappointment that Shrieker ended the way it does. There is a pretty good movie in there, but it appeared as if Full Moon ran out of ideas at the end of this one. Shrieker had the potential to become one of the best and most interesting films from Full Moon. But all that potential went to waste when the film closed itself out like some standard b-grade monster flick. You don't put that that much attention on the first 2/3rds of a film and close it out lazily like this one does.
"Shrieker" is a straight-forward monster film with a "Ten Little Indians"-style who-dunnit element thrown in. It's so straight-forward that it almost feels like an outline of a movie instead of a full-fledged one. It's short on character development, short on logic, and short on suspense, because there's not enough time to include that sort of materal in its very brief running time of just over an hour.
The fact that it's so short is probably the best thing I can say about "Shrieker". The director had enough sense not to pad his film with a bunch of pointless "mood shots" or never-ending establishing shots. Although I probably wouldn't have been too annoyed if there had been a little gratioutous nudity to pad the film, particularly since Alison Cuffe and Jenya Layno at one point both wear outfits that could have been even skimpier. :)
In that vein, I'll mention that "Shrieker" features a cast that seems to have been cast more for their good looks than their acting abilities, but with the breakneck pace at which the film unfolds, there's barely time to notice anything about the cast other than their good looks. (Everyone gives an adequate performance for a low-budget, direct-to-DVD film... no one embarrasses themselves but no one does a remarkable job, either.)
"Shrieker" isn't the worst film in the Full Moon catalogue, but it's far from the best. But it is a film you can safely ignore, even if you're the biggest Full Moon fan on planet Earth.
Shrieker (aka "Shriek")
Starring: Tanya Dempsey, Jamie Gannon, Parry Shen, Roger Crowe, Alison Cuffe and Jenya Lano
Director: David DeCotaeu
thats all i gotta say