Starring Steven Hill, Jenna Lewis, Bob Guiney, Trish Schneider, Trishelle Cannatella, and a bunch of other folks from the reality TV craze who cannot act.
Directed by Robert Kubilos
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
This is the true story of thirteen reality TV stars, picked to work in a house where a bad horror movie is being filmed. Find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting REAL. The Real Crappy World of Bad Horror Cinema! Dear god. Let me preface this by saying that I simply hate reality television. It’s just not real to me. Having a huge corporation pay you cold hard cash to co-exist with beautiful people all around the world just doesn’t seem realistic or daunting. When word of The Scorned first started spreading, I figured, “Hey. At least they’re gonna be killing each other. What’s not to like about that?” Little did I know what a true horror show this would turn into but not because of any spooky, supernatural, or slasher-like activity that you’d expect from a horror film. Because there’s not a single person in this entire film that should ever be allowed to attempt acting again under any circumstances. Before we get into all of that, let’s touch upon the story.
Meet Raina, an actress whose career is hitting its stride. Everything’s going great for her until she catches her boyfriend Matt cheating on her with her best friend Nichola. After some truly painful dialogue the threesome chase each other around their beach house until eventually Raina ends up having her throat slit by Matt via a fire poker that was laying around by the pool. Fire poker. Pool. Fire poker. Pool. Oh hell, I don’t know why it was there. Maybe death by large inflatable Shamu prop would have been easier to swallow. Anyway, Raina, despite massive trauma to her throat, ends up in a coma, and Matt and Nichola part ways, each blaming the other for the occurrences of that horrid night.
Fast forward a bit, and Matt has now rented out the beach house to a few friends that end up being the victims of the astrally projected spirit of Raina. One by one they’re taken out in various ludicrous ways that include: death by sink hole, and (insert biting sarcasm here –>) my personal favorite, death by exploding lava lamp. Sound dumb? You betcha. In fact, things end up being so ridiculous it’s hard to even know where to start. So for lack of a better place let’s start at the very beginning.
The Scorned was birthed as a 2005 TV show on the E! Entertainment Television Network titled Kill Reality. Basically it was a reality show about reality show stars getting together to make a horror film. The Scorned is the end result. What the folks behind this neglected to realize is that these people are indeed celebrities — but not because of their acting skills. Putting them into this environment where they are expected to do more than show off their bodies and argue is a HUGE mistake. The acting, if that’s what you would venture to call it, is of the high school play caliber. However, I do not place the blame entirely on these folks for this film being so bad. We as horror fans do not watch these films expecting thespian-like performances. Making The Scorned suck is a true group effort. Everyone from director Robert Kubilos, whose idea of competent film-making involves the audience having to sit through the same scene told over and over again from different perspectives, to the three writers that came up with such genius verbiage as screaming out the line “I’m going to kill you!” to a ghost does their part to make this as piss poor of an experience as humanly possible. Wow. Just wow. Honestly, the only good thing that I can say about the film itself is that there’s a lot of nudity in it. I’m sure that alone will have reality TV buffs panting heavily. As for me? I’d rather see gore.
Writing a DVD review for this film is not an easy task. To their credit Anchor Bay has delivered a stellar package with the release of this film, and as a result this review gets a slightly higher rating than if it were a standard release. Fans of Kill Reality will be immensely pleased with this two-disc collector’s edition. Everything you could want from a DVD is here in spades including your standard behind-the-scenes stuff, gag reels, a look at the Kill Reality show, a featurette regarding reality TV as a whole, and a commentary that plays like a blessing as the filmmakers drown out the horrid acting with their steadily amusing banter. One extra that caught my eye on the DVD’s packaging was The Member’s Only Key to the Never-Ending DVD Extra. Never-ending? Do we honestly need more? Can anyone with a shred of sanity even endure such agony? All this really ends up being is a special password to enter at the film’s official website that allows fans the opportunity to take advantage of web forums and even more behind-the-scenes stuff. If you’re a glutton for punishment, you’re truly in luck!
In the end what we’re left with is a very good package for a very bad film. In the case of The Scorned, reality bites! Unfortunately the door is — of course — left open for a sequel, but before anyone goes through with that, please, if you’re reading this, heed these words, I implore you: Truth can be much more disturbing than fiction, and reality is best left to those living it, not watching it. Damn you, Mtv! It’s all your fault.
Hell hath no fury like a horror fan scorned.
Rob C’s History of Reality TV featurette
Kill Reality behind-the-scenes featurette
Outtakes, bloopers, and on-set fights
The Member’s Only Key to the Never-Ending DVD Extra
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