Straight outta Austin, TX comes the latest Shudder exclusive Horror movie to drop this year, the meta-horror comedy ‘Scare Package’. With a concept from writer Cameron Burns and director Aaron B. Koontz, and a host of other indie film Directors, this 7-ish part anthology touches on classic tropes of our favourite film genre from the VHS era with a lighthearted touch that will no-doubt entertain die-hard fans, but may leave casual viewers underwhelmed with too many unfunny and confusing moments in it’s frenetic free for all of ghosts, ghouls and gore.
Like all anthologies, you need a framing story, and in ‘Scare Package’ it comes in the form of a day at Rad Chad’s Horror Emporium, a sprawling Texas video store lorded over by the titular Chad (Jeremy King), a hyperactive hybrid of Guy Fieri and Joe Bob Briggs who’s new hire Hawn needs a crash course in Horror cliches to handle their obsessive clientele. As Chad rattles off the tropes of horror on a tour of the store, we hop into each Director’s segments, with unfortunately mixed results.
Early segments like “One Time In The Woods” from director Chris McInroy, an uproariously goofy spin on the “melt movie” had us in stitches, and Emily Hagins “Cold Open”, who’s Jon Michael Simpson bookends the movie with a wide-eyed turn as hapless horror villain “Mike Meyers”, landed a lot of laughs with a light touch.
Other segments like the Werewolf support group story “M.I.S.T.,E.R.” and the underwhelming “Girls’ Night Out Of Body” land with a thud at best, with themes that have been done better than in ‘Scare Package’. The remaining segments, including a far-too-long conclusion to the framing story, and the completely baffling Kung-Fu VR battle / ‘Get Out’ possession story “So Much To Do” are only saved by a hail-Mary horror-host cameo so glorious we can’t in good conscience spoil it for you.
With a slow trickle of Horror films in the summer months on Shudder, ‘Scare Package’ offers enough laughs and gore to keep Horror movie fans from switching channels, but sadly it’s inconsistent tone and uneven direction keep this from being a classic in the vein of Tales From The Darkside, Creepshow or VHS. If you’re a dedicated drive-in mutant, we’d say “Check it out”, but for us this is a one time rental.