Shrieker (1998, directed by David DeCoteau)


Six college students decide to stick it to the man by avoiding pricey dorm living and instead squatting in an abandoned hospital.  That makes sense because we all know that college is too damn expensive and that student housing is rip-off.  The students may have made a mistake picking the hospital, though.  Guess what?  That hospital was abandoned for a reason!  Years ago, a “shrieking” murderer killed all of the doctors and the nurses.  Some say the murderer was a crazed patient while others say it was a monster summoned by Satanists.  No sooner has mathematics major Clark (Tanya Dempey) moved into the hospital than everyone starts to hear the sound of shrieks coming from the basement.  Not only is there someone else already living in the basement but, somehow, the Shrieker has also been summoned!  Once people start dying, the suspicion is directed at Clark because she’s the newest resident.  But Clark thinks that, thanks to her skill with numbers and computers, she’s figured out who is actually responsible and how the Shrieker selects its victims.  She may have even figured out how to defeat the Shrieker but will she be able to get anyone to listen to her?

From Charles Band’s Full Moon Entertainment, this is one of those low-budget direct-to-video horror films that used to show up on late night Cinemax.  Unfortunately, it’s pretty tame, with none of the gore or anything else that we typically associate with Full Moon Entertainment.  The Shrieker itself looks good but it’s never around for long and too many of its attacks are just filmed as a sudden close-up of the Shrieker’s face.  The characters are all obnoxious but most of them die so it’s not a problem.  Alison Cuffe plays the role of the token communist with a lot of relish but it’s hard not to wonder what Linnea Quigley could have done with that role.  That would have been something to shriek about.

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