“Scare Package” is a warm but bloody blanket horror fans can wrap themselves in for two hours and be reminded of why they love the horror genre.
The anthology is a staple of horror movies.
From Tales From The Crypt to Creepshow to Nightmare Cinema, the anthology is used to great effect to tell multiple stories usually with a connective wrap-around story. While the anthology will ultimately be judged by the quality of its segments, the overall movie can be elevated by a solid wrap-around story — even if a segment or two are weak. When all the elements come together, a great wrap-around combined with strong segments, an anthology movie can become something truly special.
Producer/Director Aaron B. Koontz brings together six other directors to bring Scare Package to life — seven stories with seven directors to create a unique, meta horror comedy.
From the start, Scare Package sets itself apart from other anthologies with a self-aware cold opening that serves as one of two wrap-around stories.
Character actor Mike (Jon Michael Simpson) is tired of being hired for horror movie cold opens. He complains to his friend, and fellow actor, Wendy (Haley Erickson) that all he does is open a movie to introduce the story’s evil and then he’s gone. He laments that no one knows how difficult it is to place a supernatural curse on a doll.
Mike’s story smoothly transitions into the second wrap-around story — Rad Chad’s Horror Emporium, a video store owned by Chad (Jeremy King). Chad is training a new employee while also dealing with a local resident who will do or say anything to be hired at the video store. Through Rad Chad’s Horror Emporium, the movie introduces each segment.
Koontz and his collaborators have created something unique in anthology films. There is not one bad segment within the film. The two wrap-around stories work in concert to bridge the various segments together and tell their own stories that eventually converge during the brilliant final segment.
Scare Package has tales of melting freaks, slashers, cursed items, werewolves, Satanists, final girls, and so much more.
Each story centers on a well-known, and some might say worn out, horror trope. Each director gives their unique outlook on these tropes in horrifying, and at times, humorous ways.
While Scare Package has few weak points, I do have a personal favorite: the Anthony Cousins directed segment, The Night He Came Back Again: Part IV – The Final Kill.
This segment is a story about a final girl who is tired of her group of friends being killed summer after summer by a seemingly unkillable slasher. Daisy, the final girl, captures the killer with her new group of friends and tries very imaginative ways of disposing of her long-time nemesis. But as any horror fan knows, dispatching a murdering psycho is easier than it appears.
Koontz has created a movie that’s more than just an affectionate ode to horror movies, it’s a love letter to horror fans.
Scare Package is every debate horror fans have among friends about certain types of horror characters, like Michael in the introductory wrap-around story or final girls. It’s a loving film sonnet to fans who spent time at the video store talking about their favorite movies, sub genres, and horror directors.
The movie screened at the Chattanooga Film Fest to rave reviews before making its unofficial online premier on The Last Drive In with host Joe Bob Briggs. It is now streaming exclusively on Shudder. Scare Package is one movie you do not want to miss.