***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
Shivers - 4 out of 5
There's a definitive theme to David Cronenberg's films. There are two elements that he absolutely loves and no film better showcases those themes like Shivers. Those themes are sex and violence: The Cronenberg way--a way that almost stopped him from every making another movie as Shivers was his first feature length film and it was so hated that it not only cost him his apartment (that's right, his landlord evicted him because of this movie) it nearly cost him his future in films as well.
In an isolated high-rise apartment building, a crazed doctor created a parasite that unlocks the primitive (sex obsessed and violent) side of a person. This parasite gets loose and all sexy, violent hell breaks loose. Unlike most horror films of today's era, this film is saturated in social commentary as it came out in the midst of the sexual revolution and used people's fear of the act of copulation as well as fears of homosexuality in America--and it worked because the reaction that was created from this movie is something we just don't see anymore. People weren't walking out of One Missed Call smashing their cell phones on the sidewalks--maybe vomiting from the stupidity of that film but not smashing. But the reaction that critics and audiences had to this film was well deserved because this movie is disturbing. The violence, rape, and themes of incest and promiscuity running rampant and out of control are things that can be unsettling. While the sex itself in this film isn't something hard to deal with, it's the idea of people losing control and become a new form of zombie that's not interested in the brain in your head, but rather the brain in your crotch. Thirty plus years later, Shivers is still hard to sit through and extremely thought provoking.