Shivers Down Your Spine is an unique indie horror anthology which consists of nine short films, and a wrap around story.
Dead Lantern Pictures, based out of Lincoln Nebraska, is a micro budget horror production company that utilizes local actors, crew, and locations very well. This captivating film was made on a $750 budget, and filmed over the course of four years.
Shivers Down Your Spine features stories with different horror subject matter. There was a little of everything in this film as the influences of Alfred Hitchcock, Wes Craven, Tales from the Crypt, and 1980s Slasher horror shined through.
The film starts off with a ordinary man named Jeff, who puts a pizza in the microwave. When the microwave beeps, he discovers a magic lantern inside. After taking it into the living room and rubbing it, a topless woman appears and offers to grant him three wishes.
In a surprising and humorous exchange of dialog, Jeff wastes his first wish by wishing the girl to put some clothes on. After she offers him a freebee wish due to what she feels is a lack of understanding, he uses his second wish for her to finish making his pizza.
As she makes his pizza there are some clever cross-cutting editing that builds suspense. Upon returning to the living room with the pizza, Jeff uses his next wish by requesting she tells him some scary stories.
As a fan of horror anthologies, I found this approach to be unique. While integrating humor without the gags, the use of music in this film was brilliant as it pulls the viewer in almost immediately.
Here is a short synopsis of each of the nine stories told.
Deadbolt: A spirit terrorizes a girl while she is alone Halloween night.
Convention Girl: While staying in a hotel the night before a horror convention, a man calls his friend over to his room and claims the dead girl is his bed is a staked vampire.
Birthday Dinner: A couple celebrates their daughters birthday without her because they claim she is a brat.
Whispering Board: Three girls play with a spirit board and discover the circumstances of a murder.
I Dream of Djinni: The Djinni tells Jeff a personal story of a degenerate she once had to give three wishes to.
Shorty After Nightfall: In an throwback to the days of Film Noir, this black and white crime drama centers around a gangster hired to eliminate a girl, under strange circumstances.
A Bad Heart: A serial killer that strikes on Valentines Day makes a return.
Last Breath: A tragic Shakespearean like tale of a woman’s reaction to what she perceives to be real.
A Christmas Horror Story: In an homage to EC Comics, a maniacal Santa Claus reeks havoc on a group of friends.
The use of makeup and special effects in this film were brilliant for being shot on such a small budget. Although the acting was resourced by local talent, there were stand out performances from Chianna Fisher in Whispering Board and Jazmyne Van Houten in Last Breath. There was a lot of on screen chemistry which showed the people involved in this film were emotionally invested in the project.
Each story stood on its own, and while some were better than others, they all had great feel to them.
Here is a trailer for Shivers Down Your Spine.
Shivers Down Your Spine will be available for purchase at DeadLantern.com later this month for only $15 Bluray and $10 DVD with shipping included on both.
This film is everything we love about indie horror, a must see for horror fans, and is a great example of why horror anthologies need to make a comeback.
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