Monday, July 20, 2020

Scare Package (2020)

Streaming Services: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Scare Package (2020)
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Length: 107 minutes
Rating: NR
Production/Distribution: Paper Street Pictures, Shudder
Director: Courtney Andujar, Hillary Andujar, Anthony Cousins, Emily Hagins, Aaron B. Koontz, Chris McInroy, Noah Segan, Baron Vaughn
Writer: Courtney Andujar, Hillary Andujar, Cameron Burns, Anthony Cousins, Ben Fee, Frank Garcia-Hejl, Emily Hagins, John Karsko, Aaron B. Koontz, Chris McInroy, Noah Segan, Baron Vaughn
Actors: Jeremy King, Noah Segan, Toni Trucks, Chase Williamson, Baron Vaughn, Zoe Graham, Byron Brown, Chelsey Grant, Luxy Banner, Josephine McAdam, Aaron D. Alexander, John Bloom, Allan McLeod, Jocelyn DeBoer, Melanie Minichino, Johnathan Fernandez, Dustin Rhodes, Haley Alea Erickson, Jon Michael Simpson, Mac Blake, Hawn Tran, Frank Garcia-Hejl, Justin Maina, Gabrielle Maiden

Blurb from IMDb: Chad, the owner of Rad Chad's Horror Emporium, recounts a series of bone-chilling, blood-splattered tales to illustrate the rules of the horror genre to his newest employee.

Selina’s Point of View:
Honestly, I don’t think I like movie anthologies. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind an anthology series; like American Horror Story (2011-), The Twilight Zone (1959-1964), or Black Mirror (2011-). In those cases, each season or episode is just one story and the show-runners put all their creativity into it. I love anthology books, because I can read short stories and decide from there if I want to seek out more from each specific author. It keeps me from spending money on writers I may not enjoy.

Anthology films are just tough. They’re rough to judge on an overall basis because of how different the segments are, but they’re also difficult to get right for the people working on it. It’s more likely that the audience will remember the worst of the segments and it’s damn near impossible to get ALL the parts to represent their highest quality.

Scare Package is not the worst anthology I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t even put it in the bottom five. Still, it’s not great.

The framing device was a bit outdated. No one’s watching VHS tapes anymore and, from what I can discern from the posters in the video store, this isn’t a story that takes place in the past. It would have been better to use a collectible store as the setting. It still would have had the same feel to it, with access to films for use as the segments – but it wouldn’t have felt so wrong for the era.

Where the segments are concerned, I did not enjoy the second at all. It was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. It would have fit better in an ABCs of Death (2012) film and I hated those flicks. The first segment had a really original take and it came on before the framing device, which I enjoyed since it touches on cold opens. The third segment had one of the funniest moments of the entire film. I had to pause in order to cackle at it. Aside from that moment, though, it was still pretty blah. The fourth segment was a Halloween parody. It wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t really do anything extra. It didn’t even really give me anything to laugh at. I did thoroughly enjoy the fifth segment, though. I’d have watched a full 90-minute movie with those characters, actors, and a similar plot. It was too good to be surrounded by the rest of the anthology.

Once the segments play through, we’re returned to the framing device for a closing story line. It’s got a real Cabin in the Woods (2011) vibe. If Cabin in the Woods was made on a much lower budget and fell into the hardcore parody genre. It wasn’t great. I saw what they were going for, and it could have been much better.

The final ending was amusing, though. I gave a small chuckle.

In the end, I wouldn’t direct people away from Scare Package, so long as they understand that it leans more toward hard parody than general comedy. For myself, I’ll likely never watch it again.

Cat’s Point of View:
I have been wrestling with my feelings regarding the movie Scare Package.

On one hand, I get it. Unfortunately, on the other hand, I don’t think it quite hit the mark that it was aiming for. This film aspired to be both a love-letter to the horror genre and a clearly framed anthology like the V/H/S (2012) movies.

Honestly, it felt a little bit like someone had taken V/H/S, Scream (1996), and Cabin in the Woods and threw them in a blender with every 80s horror movie made.

Some of the film was amusing, but I wasn’t over the moon about it. The movie’s self-awareness was both intriguing and off-putting for me. I snickered a few times, but I think I actually exclaimed “really?” to the screen more than once.

This production does have a point in its favor with the effects. It was clear that they got a lot of mileage out of practical effects. There didn’t seem to be much CGI. That’s a good thing, however, because all of the movies Scare Package was paying homage to used very little computer-aided graphics.

If you already have a Shudder account, and you’re seriously bored, this might be an ok film for killing time. I wouldn’t generally go out of my way to recommend it, though.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 59%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.8/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2/5

Movie Trailer:

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