NFF 2019: SCARE PACKAGE Review – A Present Worth Opening

Starring Jeremy King, Byron Brown, Hawn Tran, Noah Segan, Chase Williamson, Dustin Rhodes

Written by Aaron B. Koontz, Cameron Burns, Emily Hagins, Chris McInroy, Noah Segan, Frank Garcia-Hejl, Courtney Andujar, Hillary Andujar, Ben Fee, Anthony Cousins, John Karsko, and Baron Vaughn

Directed by Aaron B. Koontz, Emily Hagins, Chris McInroy, Noah Segan, Courtney Andujar, Hillary Andujar, Anthony Cousins, and Baron Vaughn

Anthology films are a tricky thing to pull off. It’s hard enough for any narrative film to stand out from the pack these days with the sheer glut of new releases arriving each week. Attempting to craft an anthology full of memorable segments must be an absolute nightmare, which is probably why most seem to stumble more often than not. So how does Scare Package fare? Pretty damn well!

The hook here is an old school video store staffed by a lovable, knowledgeable manager (Jeremy King) and his brand new trainee (Hawn Tran), whose duties are constantly interrupted by their odd, but well-meaning top customer (Byron Brown). All the while the overhead TVs are playing horror moves, which is where the segments come in.

The original title for this project was “Tropes” and its easy to see why. Each new segment lovingly wallows in a different set of classic horror genre tropes, from slashers to cults to body horror to monsters and more. Scare Package is an incredibly meta piece of horror comedy filmmaking, but one that thankfully refrains from ever getting snarky or condescending as it examines and expounds upon our beloved genre. 

This is a movie by horror fans about horror fans made for horror fans. It is also packed to the brim with some ooey, gooey, wild, disgusting, and/or hilarious practical effects work. There aren’t too many recognizable genre actors on display either, keeping the cameo factory nature that other low budget affairs have to a minimum. Other than Noah Segan (Knives Out), Chase Williamson (Beyond the Gates), WWE/AEW star Dustin Rhodes, and a fourth person who I will not spoil here, Scare Package is awash in fresh faces and that’s not a bad thing at all.

That is not to say that it doesn’t have its deficiencies. 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? It’s a rarity, but a special club that Scare Package definitely belongs to. I had a wonderful time with it and I can’t wait to sit down with it again when it sees release in 2020.

Are you looking forward to Scare Package? Have you already seen it and either agree or disagree with this assessment? By all means, let us know in the comments below or on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram! You can also hit me up directly on Twitter @DanielWBaldwin.   



Scare Package is an endearingly sincere send-up of horror tropes, all wrapped up lovingly in the form of a fun horror comedy anthology.



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