Review: SCARE CAMPAIGN
Tackling the subject of pranks and how one can go horribly wrong, Brothers Colin and Cameron Cairnes’ SCARE CAMPAIGN takes that idea and runs with it quite effectively. Providing viewers with a fun setup and offering twist after twist, the film is one that never ceases to keep you wondering just what’s next, providing an accomplishment in setting not only its character up, but the film’s viewers as well.
Following a prank that almost went horribly wrong, Emma (Meegan Warner) feels like the reality-TV pranking group she’s a part of is going a bit too far and needs to stop. Her main partner in it, Marcus (Ian Meadows), is getting heat from his boss, mentioning that their ratings are as good as they once were and that people want more extreme content. Talking Emma into one final scare before she quits, Marcus and his crew sets up a scare involving a man who just might be the absolute wrong person to prank.
What the Cairnes brothers are able to do, is provide a setup for the film that we as the audience want to be a part of. It’s fun to watch the events play out, with the crew setting up a complex joke on the guy, with multiple crew members all working in specific areas, spread all along a shut down mental facility. Everything from setup sounds, movements, a new crew member playing a dead woman (Olive DeJonge, THE VISIT), the members of the team set up a whole slew of other components to involve the mysterious man in the absolute perfect prank. When Emma discovers that the man not only worked at the mental hospital, but was also a patient there, things begin to as wrong as they possible could, giving us viewers our first of many twists and setting US up along with the film’s characters.
The Brothers Colin and Cameron Cairnes proved that they could mix humor with horror with their very enjoyable film 100 BLOODY ACRES and SCARE CAMPAIGN uses that, but delves deeper into a darker and more dangerous area, opting to go for suspense and shock in favor of their previous film’s black comedy. It works for this one, with each layer being pulled back, we’re given choices and guesses to make when it comes to what we think will happen next and more times than not, we’re wrong.
It’s a fun ride, one filled with enough twists to keep you interested and the performances by Warner and Meadows really pull you into the film and its danger. Just when you think you know exactly what’s going on, something happens to make you shake your head and try to figure out what’s going on, what will happen to the film’s character and if they’re survive their prank after all.
With both 100 BLOODY ACRES and SCARE CAMPAIGN under their belts, it’s safe to say that the Brothers Cairnes are two unique voices in horror, ones who don’t feel the need to repeat themselves, instead choosing to do something completely different than their previous endeavors, making them filmmakers to watch out for. I’m excited to see where they go next.