Tremors: Shrieker Island

                      review by Bobby Blakey

The horror genre is known for not only a variety of insane films, but for a ton of sequels. While it is no surprise that the 1990 flick Tremors starring Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Michael Gross and Reba McEntire spawned more chapters, I doubt anyone thought it would last this long. Now after 5 sequels, and a short lived TV series a seventh chapter of the film franchise is here with Tremors: Shrieker Island, but does it bring the same fun that’s expected from the franchise or will it get pulled underground once and for all?

Tremors: Shrieker Island follows a group of wealthy trophy hunters who genetically modified Graboid eggs to create the ultimate hunting experience and it isn’t long before their prey escapes the confines of their small island and begin terrorizing the inhabitants of a nearby island research facility. The head of the research facility and her second-in-command Jimmy locate the one man who is an expert in killing Graboids: the one and only, and now reluctant, Burt Gummer. Once on board, Burt leads the group in an all-out war against the larger, faster, and terrifyingly intelligent Graboids and the swiftly multiplying Shriekers!

I cannot lie, I love these dang movies. Sure the original was the only one that is really great, but the other entries are just a ton of fun. A lot of that is thanks to the ongoing presence of Michael Gross. It always seems like they are done with his character and I fully expected Jamie Kennedy to return once again, but they figured out a way to bring him back once again. Sadly for some reason they opted not to bring Kennedy back explaining him away with a throwaway line which sucks because they made a great team.

In his place is a new character played by Joh Heder who does a fine job, but the lack of connection to the Gummer character makes it feel a bit off. That being said Gross and Heder still play off each other well and offer up all the cheesy one

liners you expect. I also loved the always great Richard Brake added to the mix who chews up every scene he is in like on he can. The reality of it all is that people are just here to see the Graboids and their variations of evolution wreak havoc and that they do.

Where most of the films kept evolving the Graboids in new ways, this harkens back to elements to a few of the previous films complete with mention of other characters. The use of CGI is not my favorite, but they do a decent time with it once again with some practical effects still used for some fun moments. Despite the silly nature and dialogue it felt like they were trying to get back to that darker tone for this one right up until the very end that serves as the perfect cap to the franchise should this be the last one.

These films aren’t breaking down any barriers in the horror genre, but if you like a fun monster flick then this is the film for you. There is a perfect set up for not only Heder to return, but still space and direction for Kennedy to take the lead as I fully expected him to in a way that is perfection to how this one plays out. Either way there is a great credit sequence that plays homage to the previous entries implying that this might be the end of the road, but I certainly hope not.

This latest installment comes in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original film and comes packed with exclusive bonus features including a collection of top 30 movie moments showcasing footage from all seven films, a breakdown of the various species of Tremors monsters, and a special tribute to Michael Gross from Kevin Bacon, Jamie Kennedy, Ariana Richards and several past and present cast and crew, taking fans deeper into the renowned franchise and legendary world of Tremors.

In addition to this new chapter in the franchise they are debuting an all-new collection that includes all 7 films in the series in one jam packed DVD collection. Grab your copy of Tremors: Shrieker Island and the new Tremors collection when they both hit stores on October 20 from Universal Home Entertainment.

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