Saturday, 15 March 2014

Scary Or Die (2012)

An anthology horror movie that features five tales written by Bob Badway and Michael Emanuel (who also directed various segments, with Igor Meglic taking the helm for one of the stories), Scary Or Die has just enough in each section to make it an entertaining watch. Almost.

The framework is VERY basic. Someone is on a computer and clicking on a website, because that's where the title comes from. Just as Funny Or Die has a variety of comedy clips available, Scary Or Die allows people to choose different scary tales to watch. Simple.

Story #1 - "The Crossing" - this is a tale about some mean Americans who don't take kindly to illegal immigrants sneaking over the border. They set out to do something about it, unaware that they're about to get themselves in some serious trouble. This isn't a bad way to start things, despite a strange coda, but the big plus point here is another solid performance from Bill Oberst Jr (surely one of the busiest men in the independent horror movie scene at the moment, and with good reason).
Story #2 - "Taejung's Lament" - I've seen people who REALLY disliked this one, but I have to say that I enjoyed it. It's a nice mood piece, especially enjoyably coming after the rough 'n' ready style of the first tale, about a lonely widow (Charles Rahi Chun) who ends up rescuing a woman (Alexandra Choi) from a dangerous situation. The woman asks him to visit her home the next evening so she can thank him. But all may not be as it seems.
Story #3 - "Re-Membered" - A man (Christopher Darga) has his night-time drive interrupted when he's pulled over by a traffic cop. Hearing noises coming from the trunk of the car, it seems that this driver may have something to hide in this decent riff on "The Tell-Tale Heart".
Story #4 - "Clowned" - The longest, and best, segment of the movie, this is the tale of a young man (Corbin Bleu) who is bitten by a nasty clown and then starts slowly changing. Mixing comedy and horror, this is an effective tale that surprises in just how well it incorporates all of the expected elements.
Story #5 - "Lover Come Back" - Spending time writing this one up feels like a waste of energy. It feels as if it was added at the last minute, and while some effort is made to give the wraparound structure a bit of resolution there are two big problems. One, the wraparound didn't NEED any resolution. Two, this final short is just rubbish (although it is also mercifully brief).

With the exception of that last segment, each tale featured in Scary Or Die feels as if it could make a decent "Tales From The Crypt" episode. Scripting and direction may not be up there with the very best, but everything is done competently enough. "Clowned" is the highlight of the whole endeavour, but the other stories are enjoyable enough. And the good thing about anthologies . . . . . . . if you don't like one tale then you know that there's going to be a new one coming along soon enough.

Don't rush to put Scary Or Die at the top of your "to see" list, but consider giving it a watch if you haven't got too many other viewing priorities.



  1. Kevin, thanks for the good word re the ignorant bastard I played in this one (I'm so clueless about racial slang that I had to ask the director what the word "beaner" meant.) The bearded guy who I threaten in that sequence is my friend Maxie J. Santillan Jr. who I met on Nude Nuns With Big Guns. It's always like a family reunion on these sets. Thanks for taking the time to watch and review Scary Or Die. I enjoy perusing the blog.


    Bill Oberst Jr.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Bill. And well done on doing bad so good ;-)