Shudder is well known for its broad catalog of horror exclusives, from their supernatural entries to their blood-and-guts fare, with the recent release of Scare Package making a name for itself as one of the streaming service's original entries, which is a love letter to fans of B-movie level horror in an anthology format that has something for every horror fan. Like so many other anthology horror films out there, Scare Package has some winners and losers, but if you give it a chance, there's plenty here to love, as each creative team clearly has a love for the genre.
The film starts with a segment titled "Cold Open," following a character literally named "Mike Myers" as he is given horror movie-specific tasks that hilariously deconstruct the genre as he looks to be something more than the side character role he's been thrust into. It's in this opening story that you get a good sense of what you're in for, as the story itself blends together horror and humor with some nice dashes of blood along the way.
The wrap-around story for the film, which acts as the cohesive tissue bringing these tales of terror together, is serviceable and has enough surprises to keep you interested in how everything is going to turn out. This is clearly the segment that revels in its love of all things horror, even throwing in a nice cameo of one of the bigger "movers and shakers" in the world of B-Movie annihilation, though we would be remiss if we were to spoil that for you here.
Anthology horror movies are a unique beast in the world of cinema, giving viewers easily digestible segments that can either make or break the whole of the film. Luckily for Scare Package, the positives far outweigh the negatives when it comes to these tales of terror.
"One Time In The Woods" is a dream for those fans of B-movie splatter films, mostly doing its best to cram in as many horror movie tropes into one quick flash in the pan as humanly possible. The sheer absurdity of the story itself, to say nothing of the insane levels of gore crammed into the minutes-long segment, is a sight to behold and much like V/H/S 2's "Safe Haven," which was far and away the best to come out of that series. "Woods" alone is worth the price of admission.
Another feather in the cap of Scare Package comes from the hilariously titled segment "The Night He Came Back Again! Part IV: The Final Kill," which turns the slasher genre on its ear, attempting to work out just how some clever teens can kill a supernatural serial killer once he's been captured. Like "Woods," this segment is extremely tongue in cheek and leans heavily into what makes Scare Package worth-while in its fun.
All that glitters isn't gold, though, as the anthology film does have a few segments that aren't able to reach the same heights as both "Woods" and "Final Kill." Baron Vaughn's "So Much To Do" attempts to take a bite out of spoiler culture, but ultimately seems rudderless as the jokes never quite hit and the horror doesn't leave one feeling much of anything after viewing.
In what might be the worst tale of the film, "M.I.S.T.E.R." appears to have no message whatsoever, with the effects themselves feeling slapped together at the last minute. The ending to it adds nothing to the story it was trying to tell and simply feels like the creative minds behind it were simply crossing off a "curve ball ending" from the "horror trope" list.
Scare Package is the sum of its parts and those "parts" vary from below average to hilariously meta and noteworthy horror segments that more than justify the project's existence. If you're a fan of the horror genre, particularly horror-comedies in the vein of the Evil Dead and Brain Dead, Shudder's Scare Package is a definite must-watch, despite the chinks in its armor.0comments
Rating: 4 out of 5
Scare Package is now available to stream on Shudder.
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