Scare Campaign (2016)

My mother always warned me “prank at your own peril”

Popular prank TV show, Scare Campaign, mixes their old school scares with hidden cameras, but in an age of online thrills the team find themselves up against an edgier online community. Forced by the Networks hand the team decide to up the ante on their final scare, but have they gone too far and stooged the wrong guy.

Scare Campaign is the latest venture from the Cairnes brothers, Colin and Cameron. Their sophomore film follows the highly pirated film 100 Bloody Acres, which found brief fame in 2012. This Australian low budget film is clearly a throwback to the classic era of 70 / 80s Oz-ploitation films. Although, with a plainly predictable narrative the witty script and stunningly violent nature creates a satiric horror comedy that is captivating enough for its short running time of 80 minutes.

It’s difficult to discuss the narrative without giving anything a way, unfortunately I think the writers thought the script was far more cunning then it was. That’s not to say the film is boring, the twists and turns of each act are just all very predictable, I must admit though their timing of the initial first twist did pleasantly catch me off guard.

There are some genuinely funny moments in the script, it is clear the actors enjoyed the material they were given to play around with. A particular standout is Josh Quong Tart (Rohan), whose enacts tonal shifts from chilling eeriness to befuddled flippancy. But it is the production design that really shines for the film. The costumes are downright terrifying and the location couldn’t be more perfect, with the brothers opting to shoot the film in an actual abandoned mental asylum; Beechworth Asylum. Truly imparting the ambience of horror and dread.

It isn’t the most original set up, and the Cairne’s brothers have indeed stepped up the severity of tone compared to their debut. A warning to those who are squeamish, the shockingly violent kills could be too much to handle (I personally prefer my chills to spills and at times had to watch this through my fingers), but for all those gore hounds this could be the perfect Friday night flick!

6.5 / 10

“Marcus said,  you know, the best pranks are the ones that go a little off script” 



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