This sequel is one that I wasn't shocked to hear was being made and it also intrigued me. I had fun with the first one seeing it at Nightmares Film Festival with a crowd. Getting the chance then to see the sequel at this festival with this one was exciting as well. This was also the Northern US premiere for the movie.
Synopsis: when horror guru 'Rad' Chad Buckley's (Jeremy King) funeral turns into an elaborate series of hilarious death traps, the guests must band together and use the rules of horror to survive the bloody game.
Now for this one, we are picking up where the last one left off. 'Rad' Chad was killed at the end of the original and we are at his funeral. This will play as the wraparound story. Attending his funeral are Jessie Kapowski (Zoe Graham) who is the 'final girl' from one of the shorts in the original. She is there with Kimmie (Shakira Ja'nai Paye) who is her girlfriend. There is Chad's cousin Bo Buckley (King), Rick (Rich Sommer), Jessie's mother Ms. Kapowski (Kelli Maroney), Dwight (Graham Skipper) and Sam (Byron Brown). There is also Moira (Maria Olsen) who is leading the funeral and the reading of the will. Chad's last wishes are to force these attendees to play a game like in Saw. They will have to watch different shorts to survive.
The first short that we see is 'Welcome to the 90s'. This takes place on New Year's Eve of 1989. A slasher killer shows up to a college campus and instead of going to the house of those that are supposed to die, he goes to the house of the 'final girls'. Tony the Killer (Joshua Miller) takes on Ginny (Luxy Banner), Ellen (Stef Estep-Gozlao), Nancy (Shaina Schrooten), Laurie (Allison Sugimoto) and Sally (Elizabeth Trieu). It isn't until Buffy (Steph Barkley) shows up to help these girls that shouldn't have to worry since the tables have turned.
Next is 'The Night He Came Back Again! Part VI: The Night She Came Back'. This is a sequel to a story in the original Scare Package where the sister of our killer is worried that despite killing him, he will come back. This explains a bit more of how that is possible and she might be intertwined into the same magic as her brother.
There is also 'Special Edition' where Rachel (Haley Bishop), Charlie (Radina Drandova), Zoe (Jemma Moore), Jenny (Caroline Ward) and Helena (Emma Louise Webb) are convinced that you can see a ghost in Three Men and a Baby. They unleash something much more sister that makes a fight for survival as they watch this tape.
The last story is 'We're So Dead'. This one features a group of children that bring back someone that died, like Pet Semetery or Re-Animator for disastrous results. They do what they can to make things right as well as not get in trouble in the process.
That is about the extent of what I want to do for recap, introduce the different shorts and give what I could remember for the characters. What I will say is that I watched this on the opening night of Nightmares Film Festival then wrote this days later after it ended. What I will say is that I did enjoy this. I'm not sure as much as the original, but I must give it to the people behind this. They have good knowledge on the horror genre and it shows in the different things they do to poke fun at the movies. It also is paying homage as well.
Where I want to shift is that co-director/co-creators Aaron B. Koontz and Cameron Burns were in attendance. They brought up an interesting point is that they're against gatekeeping. This should go without saying, but I like their approach here. When I hear of a new horror fan getting into something and even if our tastes don't line up that is great. What I like is that their approach was to make/compile shorts into a movie where diehards can enjoy this by getting the references and new fans can still appreciate the comedy as well as the horror elements. That was something that stuck out to me listening to them during the Q and A.
With those thoughts out of the way, I think that this does an interesting way of poking fun at different troupes. 'Welcome to the 90s' is funny to show the change from the final girls of Friday the 13th Part 2, Alien, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We also get more of this with mocking sequels with 'We're So Dead' and 'The Night He Came Back Again! Part VI: The Night She Came Back'. These are movies that most fans enjoy, but sometimes overlooking the absurdity. The latter being a 'franchise' film as well. 'Special Edition' also does well with urban legends that people claim about certain movies. As a cinephile, I can appreciate what they're doing here. The wraparound I should also include as 'Rad' Chad takes his love farther than most do, but he also forces his 'friends' to be grateful for the genre more. He takes it too far, of course.
I'll then take this over to the acting. We get several people as there are four shorts and the wraparound which is a fully developed story. I like this set-up so that is something I wanted to bring up. King's portrayal as Chad and the cousin of Bo is good. I'd say that Graham, Sommer, Maroney, Paye, Skipper, Olsen and that crew are good as well. They play well off each other. The performances to embody the established characters in 'Welcome to the 90s' is solid. It was interesting to see director/writer Jed Shepherd bring back the cast for 'Special Edition' from Host. They worked in these roles much like that prior movie. I also thought the kids were solid in 'We're So Dead' as well. There isn't a bad performance. They work for what is needed.
Lastly, I'll go to the filmmaking. Starting with the cinematography, I think that it is good. Despite these not having the biggest budgets, they don't feel like it which is a positive. They are shot well which is all I can ask for. Moving over to the effects, I was pleasantly surprised to see that these were done practical. If there is any CGI, I couldn't tell or it is used properly to enhance. Other than that, I would say that the soundtrack fit for what was needed without standing out.
In conclusion, this is a fun follow-up to the original. I don't know if it is as good, but I like the different troupes and story elements this pokes fun at. You can tell the people behind these stories are fans of the genre. I can appreciate that. I would say that these are all well-made, looking better than the budgets they are working with which I give credit to. This moves at a good clip which I also give credit for. If you like the first one, give this one a watch for sure as it flows well.
My Rating: 7 out of 10.
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