Are You Scared?

December 24th, 2008 by Perfesser Deviant

Are You Scared?   areyouscared1 83x120 reviews horror Director: Andy Hurst
Writer: Andy Hurst
Release Year: 2006

I am a girl, just like the girl, who married dear old dad.

Six young people sign up to participate in a reality TV show about fear called, imaginatively enough, ‘Are You Scared?’. The thing is, the show is just a cover for a deformed maniac (Brent Fidler) to unleash Saw-like nonsense upon youngish people. One contestant in particular, however, seems to have annoyed the maniac, meaning that he gives her his special, undivided attention….

 

(Spoilers follow…)

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The pre-credits girl, a cute little thing named Tara (Madison Petrich), takes part in the game. First she’s chained up so she can’t use her hands, second she’s barefoot, third she has a shock collar on to keep her moving. The chaining thing I get and is done properly as there’s no way she could wiggle out of it, the barefoot thing is equally clear, but the collar for some reason makes her bleed when it shocks her. Something like that would be very dangerous as it would quickly render her unconscious, but I guess that’s irrelevant. Since she ends up cutting up her feet on broken glass and dipping her face in acid I guess nothing else matters anyway.

Are You Scared?   are you scared 1 300x168 reviews horror

Bad face day.

The ‘teens’ are your typical generic kids, no one worth caring about. Brandon (Brad Ashten) is a guy who looks like a stoner who is really scared of the dark, he’s also scared of having a personality. Laura (Carlee Avers) is a girly-girl who’s afraid of germs and other icky things, she is relatively quiet until the script calls for someone to scream. Jason (Kariem Marbury), the black kid, suffers from a stereotypical personality giving him a racial handicap: black guys can’t survive a crappy horror film. Then there’s the brother and sister team, Dylan (Soren Bowie) and Cherie (Erin Consalvi), he has terminal machismo syndrome and she is afflicted with both acute and chronic whining. Finally, there is Kelly (Alethea Kutscher) the designated final girl because she refuses to tell anyone what her fear is, it’s a secret you see.

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Exploding black guys are dangerous.

The game is a cross between the Saw films and television crap like Fear Factor, while some few people might think this idea is wildly original, it’s fairly boring and / or lousy. Reality TV is fun for simpletons because it’s like, unscripted and junk, that is, something similar to what one might get if one crossed an afternoon talk show with gladiatorial combat; it’s nothing but our schadenfreude at watching lesser beings pointlessly tussle. Since I get that from reality in general, the last thing I need is to see films about reality TV. So we get a series of set-pieces as people are forced to preform surgeries on themselves or otherwise die in ways that scare them more than anything. For me dying is bad enough, being shot by a bunch of shotguns in a dark room doesn’t make it any more interesting or horrible, but hey, who am I to complain about the wit of filmmakers? Oh yeah, I’m a critic. “But you’re just an amateur critic” I can hear some of you say – even though you’ve not yet read these words because I’m still writing them, but bear with me on this – “But,” I would reply handsomely, “they are only amateur filmmakers, you’re too easy.”

 

So take that.

Are You Scared?   are you scared 3 300x168 reviews horror

Tanks for that lousy pun.

Since each of the murders is supposed to be graphic and horrible, it would make sense that more time would have been spent on the effects than, say, the plot; luckily for the viewer the film makes sense in this way. Since each death is supposed to represent the worst fear of an individual, they are horrible, like the guy who gets a hole drilled in his head with what appears to be a masonry drill, though a gimlet would’ve been more appropriate for getting through a forehead. Should have asked someone who knew better, totally ruined the film for me, let me tell you. Ever want to see a pretty girl get her face burned off with acid? Seen it. Ever wanted to see a black guy explode? Seen it. Ever wanted to see a stoner get shot by a bunch of shotguns? Seen it. Ever wanted to see a bunch of other run-of-the-mill ‘creative deaths’? Seen them. Ever wanted to waste some time painlessly and enjoy some well-done effects? See this. Don’t expect it to be good at all.

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Come hug daddy!

The only aspect of this film that’s at all different from its models is the whole Kelly’s family thing. You see, Kelly, our plucky final girl and her mother (Amy Lyndon) have been on the run from Kelly’s evil father. When Kelly finds her mother in her personal ‘worst fear torture chamber’ she realizes that the guy running the show isn’t just your run-of-the-mill Jigsaw impersonator or Z-grade celebrity, nope, he’s her dear old dad. Now call me shallow if you like – that hurts you know – but there’s no way that I would ever marry a man who had less attractive features than Mel Gibson in that movie where he played the man without a face: Lethal Weapon 2; of course, for that matter, I would never marry a man at all, but I digress. This family angle is not something that I particularly welcome since it makes me wonder why the killer bothered with the others in the first place, especially the pre-credits girl. I guess some people are just mean, or some writers are just dumb, either way.

 

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