Movie Review: ‘Scare Me’

Director: Josh Ruben

Cast: Aya Cash, Josh Ruben, Rebecca Drysdale, Chris Redd

Plot: A pair of horror writers staying in neighbouring mountain cabins decide to pass the time sharing scary stories.

Review: This minimalist horror story has been getting all matter of positive reviews, including being featured on Shudder and endorsed by the Dead Meat podcast. Turns out I’m against the herd on this one, because the movie didn’t click with me at all.

The set-up is clever, with only a handful of roles and plenty of dialogue heavy sequences being used to tell some fun stories. The problem I encountered was that I think this would work better in a theatre rather than on a screen. There’s plenty of ways the medium of cinema can be utilised in unique ways, but this movie did not make the most of them. Later in the film there’s a sequence where the lighting and sound are used to enhance the story being told, but we more often get a pretty plain set.

Without the kind of flair cinema makes available, the effectiveness of the concept rests on the performers. In the role of Fred is writer/director Ruben, and he’s the weaker of the two. When he’s front and centre the film slows to a crawl. I don’t doubt his ability to write or direct, but his performance is the weakest link for me. Aya Cash, who almost memorably played Stormfront in recent episodes of The Boys, is much more energetic and engaging and carries the lion’s share of the film. When Chris Redd turns up as Carlo the movie really gets going.

I can see why this movie is popular, but it didn’t land for me.

Rating: THREE out of TEN