Scare Me (2019)

I rather enjoyed Josh Ruben’s horror comedy mainly for the fact that it’s a unique look at writing and the creative process. Would I see it again? No. Would I add it to my collection? No. Is it one of the best films of the year? Goodness, no. But I can’t say that I was bored while watching it. I definitely enjoyed the meta-horror comedy, and the looks in to how some writers can make anything out of nothing. Especially horror writers, and their ability to take the seemingly mundane and turn it in to a twisted nightmare.

Fred (Josh Ruben) is an aspiring writer who rents a snowy cabin for a weekend as an intended writer’s retreat. The story ideas don’t flow so easily, though, despite him trying his best to spark his imagination. His cabin neighbor shockingly ends up being best-selling horror novelist, Fanny Addie (Aya Cash). When a storm causes a blackout in the neighborhood, Fanny shows up at Fred’s door and challenges him to tell a scary story. As the pair embarks on a battle of wits and storytelling, Fred’s insecurities come to the forefront as he’s forced to acknowledge that Fanny is far better at spinning yarns.

“Scare Me” is basically what we see at face value. It’s a satirical horror comedy about two writers sparring off with ideas. Sadly, the ideas aren’t too scary and at no point did their pitches ever manage to hook me in and keep me engrossed. The movie seems to struggle with whether it’s an unorthodox anthology film, or just meta horror movie about creating and the exchange of ideas. In the end, it felt so much more like a ninety minute acting practice for co-stars Josh Ruben and Aya Cash, respectively. Which is not to say that either of them are bad actors, in fact, Ruben and Cash completely carry what could have been a terrible movie. Cash in particular seems to own the movie with her tongue in cheek humor and sharp cynicism.

“Scare Me” feels like a segment from a horror film stretched in to a feature, and Chris Redd doesn’t contribute too much to the film as a whole. He just feels like a matter of filling in the time while he manages to stall the big climax. “Scare Me” for a movie that thrives on being as unpredictable as possible, just dives head first in to a predictable climax. While it’s intentional or not is never really clear, as the movie never fully establishes the line of reality and fantasy. Even in the final scenes. “Scare Me” is a perfectly fine one and done horror comedy, it just can never break outside of its own concept to feel actually fleshed out, or apart of its genre.

Now Streaming on Shudder