Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge is a true sequel, and that’s more impressive than it sounds. Let me tell you why:
While anthologies are a dime a dozen in the horror space today, 2020’s Scare Package (review) brought something unique to the table–a core narrative that actually matters. I love anthologies but, more often than not, segments are introduced to the viewer with little to no connective tissue. Without anything to engage the viewer outside of the hope and desire for whatever comes next to be awesome. The approach from Scare Package creators Aaron B. Koontz and Cameron Burns was inherently different, and I’m thrilled to see Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge retain that approach.
The benefit of this is that, while mileage will undoubtedly vary from segment to segment, Scare Package 2 continues to feel less like a collection of short films and more like a feature film that happens to include a collection of short films.
Segments range across a variety of topics and sub genres, and some feel more thematically at home than others. Highlights for me personally come from Anthony Cousins’ The Night He Came Back Again! (Part VI – The Night SHE Came Back) and Rachele Wiggins’ We’re So Dead, which was also written by creators Koontz and Burns.
The Night He Came Back Again! continues the fictional franchise featured in the original Scare Package while We’re So Dead showcases indie genre blending at its finest. It also includes several adorable/excellent young actors in its warped coming of age tale that I hope to see more from in the future. The truth is while all of the shorts have their own strengths, it’s the way that the greater film interacts with them that makes it all work so well.
If you’re a fan of the original, the sequel is a no-brainer. It’s crammed full of the same meta wit and inside references that viewers will either love or hate. It, perhaps more so than any other film of its kind, is clearly made by genuine fans of the horror genre. That said, if you find yourself outside of that fandom and are simply looking for some quick frights, you might get less from it than expected.
In that sense Scare Package II‘s greatest strength is also its prime weakness. While sure to leave horror fans carved from ear to ear, it’s not exactly approachable from outside of the horrorsphere. But that could be the point–to leave “outsiders” and those that “don’t respect horror” confused while we all knowingly nod and smile along. Either way, it’s a lot of fun and I hope to see more from the Scare Package brand in the future. The scene is a lot more fun with this team releasing movies.
Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge’s is available to stream on Shudder December 22nd, 2022.