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Saturday, October 3, 2020

Review: Scare Me

Director: Josh Ruben

Screenplay: Josh Ruben

Year: 2020

Fred is a writer struggling with insecurities about his talent, who goes to a secluded cabin to work on his writing. Close to the cabin, he meets Fanny, a successful writer staying in a close-by cabin. During a blackout, both writers decide to spend the night telling each other horror stories to see who can tell the most frightening story.

When I started watching “Scare Me”, I thought it would be a challenge to see a 104 minutes runtime movie where the protagonist duo only tells each other stories. Now I can say that I was completely wrong and, not only does the idea work, but it is highly entertaining. What makes a premise that, at first glance, looks like a bad idea work? In “Scare Me” it is a combination of a fun plot with several layers and superb acting.

In the outer layer of the movie, which is the one that brings the fun and comedy, we have two writers challenging each other to tell horror stories. In this case, it is the creativity for creating the stories and the dramatization of each one to tell them what makes the movie fun. But if you dig a little bit, there are deeper layers in the story, such as the contrast between a writer struggling to stand out with his craft and another one that is a successful best-selling author and the differences in personality and self-esteem between the two and how this flourishes in their interactions. 

During the whole movie, we follow only two characters, the writers Fred (Josh Ruben; “You’re the Worst”) and Fanny (Aya Cash; “The Wolf of Wall Street”), and only in a few moments do we get a third on scene. These two actors do a superb job both in their interpretations, both to make the dramatizations fun and in creating good and realistic chemistry among both characters. On top of that, Ruben also stands out as a writer and director, debuting on both roles in a full-length film.

Another highlight from “Scare Me” is its creativity, particularly in the special and sound effects. While the writers dramatize their stories, a series of visual and sound effects accompany their narrations, which is very creative, and that ups the entertainment quality of the movie. The sound effects are like a professional version of the sound effects we often do with our mouths and bodies when sharing an event with a friend. 

“Scare Me” takes a premise that seemed to be destined to fail and turns it into a fun dynamic between two writers trying to show how frightening they can be. The acting of the protagonist duo is excellent, and the creativity in the use of special and sound effects takes it to another level. However, after doing everything well, it finishes with a rather disappointing ending.

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