Powered by Blogger.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Review: Scare Package

Director: Emily Hagins, Aaron B. Koontz, Chris McInroy, Noah Segan, Cortney Andujar, Hillary Andujar, Anthony Cousins, and Baron Vaugh

Screenplay: Emily Hagins, Aaron B. Koontz, Chris McInroy, Noah Segan, Cortney Andujar, Hillary Andujar, Anthony Cousins,  Baron Vaugh, Cameron Burns, Ben Fee, Frank Garcia-Heji, and John Karsko
Year: 2020

Horror anthologies, undoubtfully, continue to be in trend. Just a few days ago I reviewed "For We Are Many" where I raised this same observation, and now Shudder makes available in their platform "Scare Package", a horror anthology that brings together eight directors in a fun mash of short films that are based on the common tropes of horror films.

Chad, the owner of Rad Chad’s Horror Emporium, hires a new employee for his movie rental store. Chad tells the new employee a series of bloody horror tales to showcase horror movie tropes. Sam, a horror movie fanatic, helps tell the tales with the intention of being him who gets the job.

"Scare Package" starts with a solid story titled "Cold Open" from director Emily Hagins (“Pathogen”) in which it shows its campy and fun nature, as well as its meta-references. It also makes clear its intentions of exploiting horror tropes as well as paying homage and parody the classics of this genre. This segment gives way to the story that tries to tie all these segments together titled "Chad’s Rad Horror Emporium" from director Aaron B. Koontz that ends up developing into the last segment.

The second short film is titled “One Time in the Woods” from Chris McInroy (“We Summoned a Demon”) which is, with a difference, the best from the anthology. A group of friends finds a man while they camp in a forest, who suddenly starts disintegrating into goo while they are being attacked by a powerful killer. This segment is as funny as it is disgusting, the special effects are wonderful, and it’s impossible not to laugh with the dialogues and situations.

After two solid segments, “Scare Package” dramatically reduces its quality with M.I.S.T.,E.R (no typos here) from Noah Segan that fails to maintain the enjoyment level that the previous two brought. With the next segment titled “Girls Night Out of Body” from directors Cortney Andujar and Hillary Andujar the anthology reached rock bottom. This segment is absurd without being fun, its plot uninteresting and its artistic touch in the visuals is not enough to save it.

“The Night He Came Back Again! Part IV: The Final Kill” from Anthony Cousins brings back to the anthology its fun side with a segment that is a parody of '80s slashers. In this segment, the apparent immortality of the villains of these movies is mocked, emphasizing in Jason Vorhees from “Friday the 13th: Part II” and its sequels. The brutal and bloody path this segment goes through for redemption suffers a significant setback with “So Much To Do” from Baron Vaugh, that is the second-worst short after “Girls Night Out of Body”, with a story that offers little and that it doesn't even have a relationship with the bloody and campy style of the rest.

In the last segment, Aaron B. Koontz evolves “Rad Chad’s Horror Emporium” into “Horror Hypothesis”, where Chad discovers that he and the rest of the people that show up with him in an unknown location are part of a horror movie. His vast knowledge of horror movie tropes helps him identify the characters and the situations they will face, and at the same time, this works as a parody of these overused tropes. A great closing to a good horror anthology, where the bloody and campy tone from the best shorts is preserved.

“Scare Package” gets into the wave of horror anthologies that have been released recently and with its dark humor and extreme gore manages to rise and put itself among the best ones available. Horror movie fans will enjoy this movie for its constant references to the genre, its tropes, and the classics that have helped define it. Although some of the shorts might be boring, this Shudder original anthology overall is a fun and campy ride where the amount of blood and gore goes in hand with the laughs it provokes.

No comments:

Post a Comment