Click here to return to the main site.

Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Scare Me


Starring: Aya Cash, Josh Ruben, Rebecca Drysdale and Chris Redd
Distributor: Acorn Media International
RRP: £19.99

5 036193 020360

Certificate: 15
Release Date: 16 August 2021

Fred is an inspiring horror writer who rents a remote cabin in the woods to offer himself space after a turbulent relationship break, and to write the epic werewolf story he has in his head. While attempting to get some exercise outside, he meets a young woman, Fanny, who turns out to be a best-selling horror writer staying at another cabin. He is caught between wanting to get to know her for their common interest and hating her for her abrupt, abrasive and conceited manner. When darkness falls and a storm knocks out the power, Fanny arrives at his cabin challenging Fred to Scare her because she is bored. He attempts to tell her about his werewolf story, but it is only when she encourages him to fully act it out that the night takes on a life of its own. They exchange stories which seem increasingly more real, until the pizza man turns up and joins in, creating friction and competition with Fred which turns fiction to devastating reality...

This film is billed as a scary comedy or a comedy horror; either way, the opening scenes are somewhat silly. It’s easy to write-off the film as derisory, when it suddenly begins to intrigue. The two main characters are well fleshed-out and very different, and the stories told create creaks from the timbers and shadows on the walls as tension builds. It is not particularly thrilling, as horror films go, but it does hold your attention.

The ending is another matter, though. Many writers and filmmakers don’t know how to satisfactorily finish a story. It’s often an anti-climax, and that proves to be the case here. Not particularly a bad conclusion; however, it does resort to a hackneyed idea and somewhat loses the power it has built. Protagonist turned antagonist has been done before. Cocaine and beer may make someone behave differently, but it would be unlikely to turn them into a crazed killed in an instant. Fred’s backstory of constant harassment, frustration and underachievement is essentially a good one for narrative purposes, so it would perhaps have been significantly more effective had he ‘acted-out’ the crazed killer in an attempt to genuinely scare Fanny and win the competition – only to have her kill him in defence.

Additionally, the epilogue doesn’t make sense. Without giving it away, let me just say that a cab driver would not become a bestselling author overnight – even if she did have notes on what happened that night. And she wouldn’t have all the intrinsic details. As far as the humour goes, it doesn’t really work when it’s forced. The deadpan reaction to certain odd events is much more funny. It sounds like I’ve pulled this offering apart, but the truth is that Scare Me is a solid release by first-time writer/director and key character protagonist actor, Josh Ruben.

Extras include a Director and Cinematographer Commentary, very brief Outtakes, and quick questions answered (literally only seconds) by Josh Ruben and Fanny actress Aya Cash. The Blu-ray is released by Acorn Media International in conjunction with Shudder, after its success on the streaming service. This is certainly the best ‘tales around the campfire’-type story I have seen since the opening of John Carpenter’s The Fog, and the Monsters anthology episode 'The Match Game'.


Ty Power

Buy this item online