Fred Banks (Josh Reuben) is a struggling writer/actor who retreats to a cabin in the woods to write his new story. However, writer’s block and a power outage stop him in his plans. He meets a fellow writer, albeit a more successful one, Fanny (Aya Cash) who is also staying in a cabin nearby. Fanny stops by during the power outage, and goads Fred into a contest of who can tell the scariest story.
The problem here is, the stories just aren’t scary. It’s clever in how sound effects and shadows are added to create an atmosphere, but there are problems in pulling the audience in. Main issue is the acting, which I just felt was cringeworthy, so much so that I struggled to invest in the stories being told. Telling stories can be scary even delivering the lines without the face pulling and the stomping of the feet. The scares come from the chilling tales themselves, anything else is redundant.
Later on a pizza delivery driver, Carlo (Chris Redd), shows up to partake in the contest. However the humour that Carlo aims to inject, is already too late on a film that seems to be dead on arrival. Scare Me is a movie that I feel would work better as a stage show, and has the feel of one too. It is also a film that I feel would benefit from having different actors in the lead roles. Josh Reuben would probably benefit from asking his co-star, and also himself, tone down the mannerisms and gurning.
I will say that Aya Cash does ‘snarky’ very well. The character of Fanny comes across as arrogant from the beginning, and you already feel her intentions may not entirely be genuine. Josh Reuben plays Fred Banks as a believably likeable person, and the Jack Nicholson impressions did raise the odd chuckle. However, overall the cons of Scare Me greatly outweigh the pros. There was a better movie on paper here, I just don’t think we got to see it.
Scare Me is out now in the UK, and available on Blu Ray and Digital.