Review: ‘Scare Package’ is a Mixed Package from Shudder
By Daniel Rester
Scare Package is a horror-comedy anthology playing on the streaming service Shudder. It features eight different segments from eight different directing talents, including Aaron B. Koontz and Noah Segan. Most of the bits are mixed bags while one of them is awesome.
The wraparound segment connecting Scare Package is called “Rad Chad’s Horror Emporium.” It follows video store owner Chad Buckley (Jeremy King, clearly having fun) as he hires a new employee and shows him the ropes. As they explore the horror movies at the place, that sets up the various segments of Scare Package to play out.
Coming off as a cheap version of the brilliant The Cabin in the Woods (2012), Scare Package aims to be a meta love letter to the horror genre. Unfortunately a lot of its humor and ideas that are meant to be sharp come across as obvious. The filmmakers go with endless poking dialogue, most of it too easy as the filmmakers often tell us instead of showing us. Also, the wraparound story is a weak glue holding everything together and takes up too much screen time.
Most of Scare Package is watchable but forgettable. We get a background character who wants to be a main antagonist, a cult member who hunts werewolves, and even a bit that is labeled in a section called “Post Modern Feminist Slasher Revenge Body Horror.” All of this sounds more fun than it actually is. The only segment I fully hated though was “One Time in the Woods,” a bit with a melting man and poor execution.
The best Scare Package has to offer is “The Night He Came Back Again! Part IV: The Final Kill.” It’s a smart and energetic take on slashers like Jason Voorhees who just won’t die. Nicolas Sulivan shines as a horny douchebag named Greg, while there are a number of creative — and bloody — ways in which the survivors try to kill the masked antagonist. This section deserves a better movie surrounding it.
Scare Package does offer some strengths. There’s plenty of terrific practical gore effects throughout. Someone even hilariously gets killed by a treadmill! The music by Alex Cuervo is amazing at times, especially with his electronic work on the supernatural segment “So Much to Do.” There’s also a cool cameo by a certain minor horror icon that should please some genre fans.
While I see what Scare Package was going for, I think it missed its mark. The anthology bits don’t flow together very well and the wraparound story often falls flat. It has moments here and there that are inspired and entertaining, and the makeup effects are wild, but overall I was disappointed as a horror fan.
My Grade: 5/10 (letter grade equivalent: C)
MPA Rating: NR
Running Time: 1h 47min
USA Release Date: June 19th, 2020 (Shudder streaming)