Are You Scared Review
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[Are You Scared]
Plot:After waking up in an abandoned factory, six kidnapped terns realize they are contestants on a reality show called "Are You Scared?"
My Thoughts:The sad thing is....20 years from now reality tv will probably actually be like this movie!
Review:I really had no idea what to expect going into "Are You Scared ?" but boy am I glad I actually saw this movie. Sure it totally rips off "Saw" (which is obvious by the dvd art) but it's still a good ripoff nonetheless. The movie opens similar to how "Saw 2" did, with a person apparently involved in a game of sorts where they have to complete a task in order to win a modeling contract...only to fail with painful and deadly consequences. This is where our story begins...as we are soon introduced to 5 people, a group of reality tv obsessed teens, who apparently signed up for a reality tv show called "Are You Scared?"...where they confront their biggest phobias. In some dialogue early in the movie, most of them mention they had signed up for the show many months prior to waking up in a dark, dusty old factory with no idea of how they got there or who put them there. The reality show angle keeps the group from becoming too panicked in the situation they're in but when the first member of the group bites the dust while playing one of the mystery man behind the show's deadly games...it soon becomes obvious to the viewer that these kids are in serious trouble. Of course it takes a bit longer for them to figure this out. While as I stated before..."Are You Scared?" does steal alot from "Saw", writer and director Andy Hurst does make sure to do more than enough to set his film apart from "Saw" and make it a standalone movie. For instance...the characters are not there because of any sins they commited...although a twist on this plot point does come later in the movie. I also think Hurst was trying to send a message with this movie about the obsession with reality television today's 18-34 culture has and how the obsession can blind even the smartest people from understanding or knowing that they're in grave danger. Another thing to like about Hurst's movie is that he doesn't lose the core of his story like some writer's do and have his film breakdown into a slasher movie or anything other than what it starts off as. The main focal point of the story is that each member of the group has to play a game which is tied to their biggest phobia's, but the mystery man who watches them on monitor's from a dark room somewhere in the building pretty much gives them no chance to win these games and soon the remainder of the group realizes that this reality show is nothing but a deathtrap, and they have to find a way out before they themselves wind up dead. While all of this is going on within the confines of the abandoned factory, two detectives who arrived on the scene to identify the girl at the beginning of the movie...are beating their heads against the wall trying to find "Shadow Man" before more people fall victim to his sick games. Speaking of the games...the traps themselves are pretty unique and devlish, and I was very impressed with what Hurst managed to accomplish on an indie film budget with this movie. Another thing that makes "Are You Scared?" a very fun to watch film are the characters. A cliche, yet likeable bunch which includes the female lead Kelly, played by actress Alethea Kutscher who looks strikingly similar to actress Jenna Dewan. Kutscher and actress Erin Consalvi who plays Cherie, the sister of Soren Bowie's character both give the best performances in the film but Kutscher is slightly more impressive. Especially when she shows alot of inner-strength in the films final act when after she figures out "Shadow Man's" little game, he leaves his control room to come after her to make her finish playing the game. But along with some really bloody and graphic scenes within the movies final act, the climax also contains a huge twist involving Kelly, and Shadow Man. While the twist is cliche in a few ways, it certainly does more to work within the movie, more than hurt it. The movies ultimate ending is quite a spectacle as well, although it is predictable in many ways. "Are You Scared" has all the necessary elements of a great horror film, it's demented, twisted, bloody, and action packed along with intense. But it tosses in a bonus with a great cast headed up by two awesome female leads, and a dangerous yet mysterious villain who remains quite the enigma even as the film comes to an end. "Are You Scared" is exactly how indie horror should be, and it's certainly a must see.
Positives:Great cast, great performances by Kutscher and Consalvi and Brent Fidler as Shadow Man as well. Pretty good story too.
Overall:Great B horror movie with a few minor flaws.
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