Shredder (2003)

Shredder (2003)

Prepare to be iced

A group of friends head to a remote and abandoned ski resort for a weekend of partying and snowboarding. The resort has a nasty history in which a little girl was accidentally killed by snow boarders breaking the resort rules. Unfortunately for the friends, someone mysterious dressed in black is now enforcing the resort rules – by slaying anyone breaking them.

 

A confusing throwback to the cheesy 80s slasher flicks, on one hand Shredder tries to recreate what made the slasher so popular in that era but without featuring the vital ingredients that made them so popular in the first place. It’s like a “look at me, I’m an 80s slasher” but it forgets the gore, the nudity and the overall level of violence that its predecessors had. One can only imagine how a story like that of Shredder would have properly faired twenty years earlier.

Shredder isn’t great but it’s not terrible either. It’s just there or thereabouts when it comes to slashers. There are some decent moments in here but the film is too sloppy to make them work as a whole. But let’s look on the positive side first. The cinematography is great. You really get the sense of isolation hammered home as these mountain peaks are remote and just as cold and dangerous as the masked killer. The gorgeous white scenery, especially during some of the effective night scenes when the slope is lit up, is a nice contrast to the carnage it will witness. The various cabins and huts scattered around the resort seem like the perfect place to set a slasher as there are plenty of places to hide. Alas, Shredder never really utilises the setting as well as it could.

The slasher’s identity is never really in doubt despite the script attempting to throw red herrings our way. If you’ve seen a handful of slashers in the past, you’ll be one up on the characters by the time the half-way stage has hit and you’ll know who is underneath the mask. Keeping with tradition, the killer is shrouded inside a ski parka so as to hide their face until the big reveal. It’s hardly an intimidating costume and the killer doesn’t make for the most physical presence known on film. But the surrounding characters don’t cover themselves in glory either, featuring the traditional types like the slut and the comic relief guy. Given that they are snowboarders as well, be prepared for plenty of “dudes” and “woahs” as they go snowboarder and skiing. Thankfully these sequences are mercifully short and the film quickly moves on to the more important matters like the kills instead of dwelling on stock footage of snowboarding.

The two staples of slasher success: gore and nudity come under the spotlight now. The film boasts some decent effects in places including the opening kill as one unlucky snowboarder happens to ‘shred’ down the mountain and into the path of some wire which has been deliberately strung in his path. For the most part, the kills are done using practical make-up effects and it’s blatantly obvious in one of the kills towards the end that CGI has been used. It puts a bit of a damper on the effects team after they’d pulled out some inventive sequences (a ski pole in the eye seen via a camcorder being the pick of the lot). But you get the feeling that they were holding back on the gore and the explicit violence. Whilst these odd scenes do pack punch, it is only because the rest of the film is so laid back and not because they’re actually shocking. Shredder keeps its tongue firmly in cheek for the majority of the film without bordering on parody or spoof. The running joke about one of the undiscovered dead bodies continually moving around the chairlift throughout the film is one such example.

As for the T&A, there is one moment where you’ll feel aggrieved that you see diddly-squat. The female lead is hot and horny throughout the film and just as she dips into the outdoor jacuzzi, the camera doesn’t go down below the neck. Other female characters constantly tease the male viewer with a series of revealing clothes but alas this is a 90s slasher and the actresses have better agents nowadays than they did in the 80s.

 

Shredder is a nice throwback to the 80s slasher but one can’t help but wonder how much better the film would have been had it been released twenty years earlier. With a decent body count and a lighthearted tone throughout, Shredder is one of the better post-Scream slashers.

 

 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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