‘7 filmmakers. 7 tales of terror. 0 working cell phones.’
Scare Package is a 2019 American comedy horror anthology film produced by Austin-based genre production company Paper Street Pictures and developed by Aaron B. Koontz and Cameron Burns, who previously collaborated on Camera Obscura, which Koontz directed from a screenplay the pair co-wrote.
Seven directors selected a different horror sub-genre, taking aim at the tropes and overused clichés we find all too often in horror films. And then they repeated the clichés?
The directors include Mali Elfman (executive producer of Mike Flanagan’s Before I Wake), Chris McInroy (Bad Guy #2) and Aaron B. Koontz. Actor Noah Segan (Looper, Deadgirl) and comedian/actor Baron Vaughn (Grace and Frankie) made their directorial debuts.
Reviews [click links to read more]:
“It’s not easy to balance humor and horror without an overreliance on one, but Scare Package is a blood-soaked damn fine time that strikes that balance perfectly. This knows the genre well and has the wit and knowledge to poke fun at what we all love about horror. A labor of love that’s covered in gore, Scare Package is one of the best times I’ve had all year.” Arrow in the Head
“Yeah, Scare Package is gory and silly as hell, but this is a movie made by people who love horror movies for people who love horror movies. It’s charmingly aware of the tropes that make up the genre it cherishes, and it leans into them with heart, blood, entrails and laughs. You’ll have a good time with Scare Package…” Bloody Disgusting
Most anthology wraparounds do little more than serve their purpose to connect segments, but Koontz and Burns crafted a rare one that is just as enjoyable as, if not better than, the shorts […] Beyond all the fun Easter eggs – from A Nightmare on Elm Street and Aliens to the most brazenly absurd Friday the 13th reference ever committed to film – each segment cleverly twists genre conventions, so even the less entertaining offerings subvert expectations.” Broke Horror Fan
“No different than any creepily comedic collection of shorts, Scare Package misses marks here and there. But the movie’s inventiveness and irreverence predominantly mix an intoxicating cocktail of winking laughs and gruesome shocks that’s consistently enjoyable for horror fans with light senses of humor and forgiving tastes for low-budget larks.” Culture Crypt
“Every iconic subgenre and expectation is represented and playfully realized. It’s well-written, fast-paced, and thorough in its exploration. You’ve gotta love a film that is willing to be silly, and Scare Package embraces its goofy side. Any crude edges and roughness in the film only add to its charm, making it an ideal “popcorn feature.” Daily Dead
“Some of the acting can get wonky from time to time and a couple of the segments fall flat, but there is so much heart and sincerity on display that the good far outweighs any of the bad. Besides, how many anthologies can you think of where the wraparound sections might actually be the best part of the film?” Dread Central
“It’s inevitable as the stories are all completely different in terms of tone and style, that Scare Package drags a little in places. It’s never for long though and Scare Package makes for a dynamic addition to the horror anthology, whilst at the same time introducing some interesting new genre voices.” The Hollywood News
“Scare Package is definitely a movie made by horror fans for horror fans. It’s also worth noting that Scare Package is just as bloody as it is hilarious, if not more so […] The film has a pretty high body count, and yet there isn’t a single death which isn’t highly amusing.” Horror Geek Life
” …several skits of VHS-era horror schlock, with art directors, cinematographers and special effects folk lovingly recreating the overlit, fuzzy and gloopy look of Bad Taste, The Slumber Party Massacre or The Video Dead. In this universe, Joe Bob Briggs – who eventually appears – is God, and video rental store assistant clerk gigs are worth feuding over […] a slightly baggy hour 103 minutes.” The Kim Newman Web Site
“There are moments of comedy in certain segments where you may judge yourself for laughing so hard that you drop your soup into your lap […] However, whatever comedy is present is equally balanced out by gory practical effects that involve literal melting skin, skull explosion blasts reminiscent of Scanners, and literal body splitting that will make your groin muscles go, “Nope!” Nightmarish Conjurings
“Each segment cleverly highlights a horror trope with love and adoration as opposed to parody or sarcasm. Also unlike most anthologies, every segment including the wraparound story is consistently amusing and entertaining.” Pop Horror
“From start to finish every segment is entertaining, you can see that every director and writer committed to the concept and came trough. Scare Package delivers laughs and lots of gore for every type of horror fan.” Screen Anarchy
“All of these stories turn the clichéd tropes of genre on their head, in a reflexive riot that pushes the self-referential postmodernism of 1990s horror so far through the fourth wall that Wes Craven’s meta cinematic Scream (1996) is now itself an explicit reference point and target as much as John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978). Whip-smart, inventive and endlessly funny…” Sight & Sound
“A common problem with horror anthologies is that the segments feel too disjointed and unconnected. That is not a problem here, as the movie’s framing segment “Rad Chad’s Horror Emporium” is not only fun but allows each segment to neatly roll into the next, while making every segment feel essential.” /Film
“Scare Package is one of the best-executed anthologies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s double impressive given how easy it is to have a parody of this kind misfire. Even the weakest segment is watchable, unlike many anthologies where you want to fast forward through at least one story.” Voices from the Balcony
Mali Elfman, Courtney Andujar … (segment “Girls’ Night Out Of Body”)
Hillary Andujar … (segment “Girls’ Night Out Of Body”)
Anthony Cousins … (segment “The Night He Came Back Again! Part IV: The Final Kill”)
Emily Hagins … (segment “Cold Open”)
Aaron B. Koontz … (segment “Rad Chad’s Horror Emporium, Horror Hypothesis”)
Chris McInroy … (segment “One Time In The Woods”)
Noah Segan … (segment “M.I.S.T.E.R.”)
Baron Vaughn … (segment “So Much To Do”)
The world premiere of Scare Package was at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain on 4th October 2019. The film was streamed on Shudder from June 18th 2020.
Scare Package was released on Blu-ray and DVD by RLJE Films on October 20th 2020. Audio commentaries and deleted scenes are included.
Aspect ratio: 2:1