December 18, 2016

VOD Review: Scare Campaign (2016)

"This movie makes us miss Scare Tactics."
Remember Scare Tactics? The SYFY reality show where unsuspecting people would be terrified out of their mind by elaborate scare-pranks? Like they'd have a half-naked midget painted up all red with devil's horns on his head break through a wall and chase some poor girl around a creepy warehouse or something until she was in tears, then someone would yell "Relax, you're on Scare Tactics!" and everyone would have a good laugh?

It was hosted by Shannen Doherty, then Tracy Morgan, it made us laugh on a regular basis, because we're sadistic when it comes to seeing other people being frightened half to death.

Scare Campaign is a lot like Scare Tactics, at least in its premise, only the pranks are real, and there's no one who jumps out at says "Ha! You're on Scare Campaign!" at the end. Also, there's a lot more blood.

No Shannen Doherty though. That's a bit of a bummer.

Marcus and the crew of Scare Campaign (the Aussie version of Scare Tactics), have been scare-pranking innocent people for five seasons now, but their routine is getting stale. When their latest prank almost takes a deadly turn for one of the cast, lead actress Emma takes exception, fearful that someday they'll prank the wrong person, and it will end badly for them all. Because that almost just happened, so it's not much of an insight. 

Meanwhile, there's a new web series called Masked Freaks that is all the buzz in the "Horror Reality" genre... which is creepy, because it involves a bunch of masked freaks brutalizing and killing people for real, so exactly who is paying to watch that kind of shit? How the Cops don't catch these guys, I don't know, but the woman in charge of Scare Campaign sure thinks it's awesome, and tells her crew that if they don't get edgier, they'll be cancelled.

In an effort to save their show, and liven things up a bit, Marcus comes up with the most daring prank he's ever pulled... and that's where we'll stop with the plot details. There are a few twists that take the movie in different directions, and spoiling them for you here would just be mean.

It gets pretty bloody. That's safe to say.

Scare Campaign was, above all else, a fun movie. As bloody as it is, and as creepy as things get towards the end, it's the movie's constant stream of humorous wit that made us dig it so much. A lot of that wit comes from the fact that the movie makes a pretty bold statement about how Reality TV is produced (they'll air anything, as long as there's an audience; and how there's such a big audience out there who for some reason crave, dumb, half-assed garbage as entertainment.

The movie also changes gears rather nicely, starting off as what you think is going to be a haunted house type of story, but it quickly becomes a slasher/revenge flick, then it drifts into torture porn territory. It felt fluid to us, which was a nice change of pace. The best part of it all, is that the film's twists weren't heavily telegraphed at all. Organic. That's the right word.

As solidly scripted as the movie was, it's the cast that makes it work so well. Meegan Warner was great in the lead role, and Ian Meadows was skilled enough to make us like his character by the end, even though we kinda despised him early on. And we're going to go out on a limb here and say that Olivia DeJong is about to blow up, career-wise. She did a good job in last year's The Visit; her upcoming movie, Safe Neighborhood, looks all kinds of awesome; and with her performance in Scare Campaign, she showed us that she can play devilishly wicked very well. We'll be seeing much more from her in the future.

There's plenty of good gore gags throughout this one, although half of them are fake insofar as they are a part of the whole prank set-up scheme. Once the real blood starts flowing though, we get some pretty good stuff.

Everyone remains clothed in this one. It's almost like filmmakers these days think that they can make a good Horror flick without half the cast being naked or something.

Scare Campaign is a wicked little film that blends blood, humor, and even commentary together very well, which makes for an entertaining watch. Rent it, and while you're doing that, we'll be checking out the Cairnes Brother's other flick, 100 Bloody Acres, which we sadly haven't seen yet.


Scare Campaign is available now on VOD.

Meegan Warner and Olivia DeJonge are in this, and we dig them both.

1 comment :

  1. Watched this one a few weeks ago, I thought it was pretty good.

    IDK what it is with some of these new movies, but it's like they film it and them edit it, and that's it. No body is doing any color correcting or processing it seems.

    I just watched The Magnificent Seven and also Incarnate this weekend, and both of them had really fantastic color tones. TM7 almost looked sepia, and Incarnate had this really great dark contrast to it. But this movie, Scare Campaign was like just left bare. This seems to be a trend with some of these lower budget movies. But you would think that nowadays it would be easy to do.

    Another great example was Carnage Park, it was almost an orange color, almost like Pitch Black...