Scare Campaign (2016) Poster

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Fun, Clever, & Gory
HorrorOverEverything3 August 2016
"Scare Campaign" is a new Slasher flick from Directors (& brothers) Colin and Cameron Cairnes. Their first film "100 Bloody Acres" was a great horror/comedy that got slightly over shadowed by "Tucker & Dale Vs Evil" due to having a similar tone/storyline. I really enjoyed their first film a lot so I was excited to see what else they had to offer, and "Scare Campaign" definitely did not disappoint.

So the storyline follows the cast and crew of a TV show called Scare Campaign (a prank show that aims to scare the hell out of it's stooge), very similar to the real life TV show Scare Tactics, they are in their fifth season and the show has gotten a bit stale so they are asked to step up their game. So the creator of the show hatches a plan to boost ratings and things don't exactly go as planned. I liked the storyline, it's kind of simple and I saw most of the twists coming from a mile away, but it's a solid backdrop for a slasher movie and kept me interested as I sat their waiting for the killing to start.

Once things get going (and they do fairly quickly) the whole thing turns into a very entertaining blood bath, just about all the kills were done really well and the gore level was pretty high. For a lower budget flick the cast, effects, etc were all very impressive. Really from start to finish "Scare Campaign" had me entertained and interested to see what would happen next. The ending could have been better though, was kind of hoping they would go another way with it but it didn't really take too much away from the film.

If you are a fan of gory slasher movies that don't take themselves too seriously then you will most likely enjoy this film, one of the better slasher flicks to come in recently.

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dar04172 September 2020
Underrated horror film that has a nice twist ending that you may see coming.
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Not terrible but it could have been a lot better
Seth_Rogue_One5 August 2016
Who doesn't love a good prank gone wrong video? Where a pranker is acting like a douchebag and finally gets what's coming for them?

And here we have in a sense the movie version of just that (except more extreme of course as it is a horror) so this should technically be right up my alley.

But it just didn't quite hit the right mark.

First of all it's a little bit too silly at times, especially in the first half, where as I think it would have worked much better if they took a more serious approach.

Don't get me wrong I don't mind a good horror-comedy, but if the comedy is not funny (as in the case of this) then I prefer it to do more of the former than of the lesser.

Especially since the actual scenes of horror were fairly well- orchestrated and it had some cool twists.

The acting could have been a bit better as well, but partly of that could be because of the direction.

Had a look at the directors' resumes and it turns out that they directed '100 Bloody Acres (2012)' which I actually thought was stellar, and that was a horror-comedy as well... So it is a genre that they can do well in, in this it didn't quite come together though for some reason.
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Good But Not Great
Athanatos17311 February 2018
The premise was interesting, the script started out strong and had me thinking that I had figured out what was going on quite quickly until there was a twist, but from that point on something was off with the script, disconnecting me from the previous flow of the film, and the ending, though the writers thought perhaps would be cool or leave room for a sequel, was annoying.

The acting was average as well, though I did like Ian Meadows in this. All in all, an average film, that in my opinion, missed the mark to being a good one by very little.

I would say it's worth watching if you have nothing else to do, as I can think of many movies that are worse than this one in the same genre.
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100 bloody acres of TV landscape
kosmasp15 May 2017
I did enjoy the previous movie from the brothers. While it never achieved what Tucker & Dale did (no pun intended), it was a fun little movie. Though it would depend on your definition of fun I reckon. Something that can be also said about this movie right here. It is also very bloody and does not pull any punches.

But it is unfortunately very predictable. I can't imagine anyone being really surprised by the twists thrown here. Red herrings and all included, you'll see them coming. It's still set up nice and it's enjoyable enough, if you don't have problems with the amount of gore this includes and the obvious scare tactics it uses ...
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First half was good
gustheaffen13 January 2020
Overall this was okay. Although the first 3/4ths was a lot better before the final twist that was kind of dumb and ruined the story. Plus the final spin I saw coming. I'll just leave it at that but I knew the plant before the reveal. So for awhile it worked well then it didn't as they took the twists and turns too far without a real reason to do so. I've seen a lot worse movies and this was entertaining up until the last 20 minutes or so.
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You've been maimed.....
FlashCallahan11 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Scare Campaign has been entertaining audiences for years with its mix of old school scares and hidden camera tricks.

But as a new age of online TV enters the fray, the producers find themselves up against a new web series which makes their show look like Beadle's About.

It's time to up the game, but will the team go too far, and are they about to aim their 'fun' at the wrong victim.......

It's quite an interesting idea, having a T.V. show turn snuff in order to up the ratings, but it isn't a new idea, and this is where the film fails on many levels, it's too familiar, like we've seen it all before.

But instead of keeping their eye on the most spectacular narrative arc, 'what would happen if the prank was on someone who was armed, halfway through the film, the makers decide to drop the idea, and go for a Purge/Hostel type situation and up the gore.

Which in all fairness is the norm, but why not go down the April Fool's Day route, and have everyone physically fine come the end? and then for a decent spin on that tale, have the victim go absolutely berserk at the end an slaughter everyone? No, they decide that after a very neat twist in the film, we have the makers of the more extreme show invade the 'safer' show to up their ratings.

It starts off okay, the cast are fine, but the characters are portrayed as a bunch of abhorrent parasites, so you couldn't care less who goes first and how, so it takes the crucial element out of a film that is supposed to be a horror.


It's not terrible by any means, it's just irritating that the makers decided to play it safe, and let the bloodshed commence, rather than do something different, and be a risk for once.
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A Few Twists And Turns
wandernn1-81-6832744 January 2020
Sometimes when a film goes a little overboard on trying to be hard to figure out it loses direction so much it messes up the whole thing. That's sort of what I see happening here. A prank on a prank show and a little dose of real kinda made this one come out just about even on the score card.
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It's not a bad movie, too bad they used an open ending as a tool not to have to finish the story.
edu_nicastro23 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
You know, I used to like endings that left some to the imagination, really did. Some are really clever actually, but it's a shame when you see lazy writers using that as a tool so they don't have to actually finish the story.

It's hard, having to tie all those loose stories and plots..

I'm pretty proud to be mature and smart enough nowadays to be able to tell the difference between those endings that incite the imagination, like the ones from Stephen King, and those that are only there so the writer didn't have to think too much on it.. This is the latter, sadly.

Still, not a bad movie all things considered.
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Interesting twists
jmbovan-47-1601733 February 2020
Horror prank show hits upon means to "up the ante" to keep their show alive. Surprise! More is waiting for them then expected. Ending is open, but in a good way as the horror continues.
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A fast, fun and inventive Aussie horror/comedy
eddie_baggins18 July 2016
Ladies and gentleman if there was any concerns beforehand surrounding the current state of Australian horror films, then let the Cairnes Brothers Scare Campaign put any of those lingering doubts to bed as this low budget yet often ingenuous little horror treat showcases that the genre is still alive and well in our fair shores.

On the back of fellow shoestring budget films like Wrymwood and Observance and the Cairnes Brothers previous film (which sadly got lost in a huge collection of illegal downloads) 100 Bloody Acres, Scare Campaign may not be a faultless experience but it's a downright fun one and one I can see making its way to Hollywood in the form of a remake sometime in the near future.

Having a blast with their pitch black comedy elements and skewering of modern day audiences thirst for bigger and better and in the case of this particular narrative, more bloody and ruthless, the Cairnes Brothers ramp up the gore-o-meter to 11 as bodies are dismembered, sliced and diced and generally dispatched in all manner of gruesome and it must be said inventive ways as our crew of reality TV filmmakers and actors realise they've bitten off more than they can chew.

Utilising the ready-made set at their disposal in the form of an old mental hospital near the boundary line of the Victorian and New South Wales borders, the Cairnes Brothers have a ball putting their willing cast lead by Meegan Warner's actress Emma and her director/on-off boyfriend Marcus played by Ian Meadow's into a terrifying situation that more than once takes turns into the depraved and unpredictable and while the brothers script work undoubtedly needs polish, their gleeful direction clearly showcases horror fans working on a project that is passionate to them as genre aficionados.

Showing inventiveness and a wittiness not often found in films of this ilk (plus a mastery of claret spilling), Scare Campaign is a quick-fire horror experience that will leave many horror hounds thoroughly happy with what the Cairnes Brothers have served up and on the back of two promising ventures into the horror genre from the brothers now in the bag there's reason to get excited on where the duo will head to next.

3 ½ rubber guns out of 5
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Scare Tactics Can Be Fatal!
gwnightscream20 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
This 2016 horror film features a crew of a hit TV prank show, "Scare Campaign" that plays horrific tricks/pranks on certain people, but it comes back to bite them when they become hunted by a sadistic, masked cult that likes to commit real violence on camera. This isn't bad, but the finale could've been better in my opinion. It reminds me a bit of "Saw," the cast is ok, there's gory make-up effects as well as an eerie score. Fans of horror could give this one a try.
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RosanaBotafogo7 September 2020
Adorably surprising, full of plot twist, a lot of blood, scares, twists, reality shows, very good idea and well executed, for more horror movies in style, the ending was a bit mushy, but nothing that got in the way of the masterful idea...
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Pretentious and predictable
gruszgergely5 May 2018
Contrary to most reviews here, if you have seen more than a dozen horror films, no later than the 15th minute in will you be able to smell the stench of all the forthcoming twists of this poorly executed, smug, superficial, obvious flick. Not to mention the overused topic of media violence and the blurring of what's real and what's not. At the end I simply could not believe that the supposed "twists" were all this film got. Abysmal, cynical tripe.
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The best ones go off script
nogodnomasters4 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
If you read anything at all about the film, it ruins the first scene, hence stop now and go watch the film. A group of people run a TV show where they set up locations to scare people. After seeing one episode, we discover the producer wants them to get darker as they set up an asylum to spook the new groundskeeper, a creepy guy who used to work there, sort of. Then things become twisty, with the first one an easy read.

This is an Aussie horror film, somewhat fresh in content. Decent acting and script. More of a slasher film than horror.

Guide: F-word. Brief nudity.
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Ruined by the Ending
nysalesman2 November 2016
The movie shows so much promise at the start. Then you think it's going to decay into a cheap slasher flick when they twist it up on you and re-invent it into more of a torture horror deal. Overall, they could have gotten a lot more inventive to include real paranormal activity. Nonetheless, the twist in the middle was enough to save the movie - until the end that is.

While they did tie up the loose ends, the ending was pure nonsense - tantamount to the cop out used by the Sopranos. Totally ruined the movie for me. Had they given it a proper ending, then I would have rated this movie a 7.
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nickeyblack3512 February 2020
I really enjoyed this film. They were able to intensify the intensity. I'm not a avid fan of gore. I like atmosphere and suspense mostly, but they combined that up fairly well in this flick. The low ratings are unnecessary, and i am not part of the cast.
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Not that bad, but probably the most predictable film ever...
ulrico_chuken2 October 2018
You can guess the "twists" in just 30 minutes, the rest is just pure entertainment
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Aussies attempt horror without comedy. The result is even worse than usual.
fedor817 July 2020
Warning: Spoilers
"In the new entertainment there are no happy endings", says one of the psycho-killers. Got news for you, movie: there haven't been happy endings in horrors for years. The notion that downer endings are a new revolutionary thing, and that this movie (or at least its masked characters) might be treading new ground this way - is laughable. 90% of modern horror films (i.e. films made in the last 15-20 years) have endings in which evil wins. Not only does it win, it crushes the opposition, makes a mockery of them, and then begs (viewers and producers) for 29 more sequels.

This movie wants so desperately to be the king of all plot-twist horror thrillers, but it ends up as a big pile of predictable nonsense. Not every single thing is predictable, obviously, but the three key plot-twists were all failures - pretty much because the writer was foolish enough to phone them in minutes or even ages before they occur. Already during the first 10 minutes, in the meeting room scene to be precise, we get phone-ins of one or two plot-twists. (One or two, depending on the viewer. For zombie audiences, it's zero, obviously.) Of course the stooge was going to be the producer's girlfriend (who didn't see that coming?) and of course the mysterious snuff team was going to invade their film set. The only twist that didn't happen was the ambitious plastic-surgery-deformed TV executive not being part of the scam: that would have made a lot more sense than what actually happened. (Still would have been idiotic though.)

They also phoned in the 3rd twist (the young girl actor being part of the snuff team), which wasn't necessarily predictable early on, but became very obvious several minutes before the reveal: her calmness in the getaway truck was too obvious, a sign of lackluster writing AND directing. Hence the "great reveal" in the incinerator scene, just a few minutes later, was totally lame. The audience was shouting "we're way ahead of you, dumb movie!" This twist makes zero sense too: how could the snuff team possibly know that she'd get cast a week earlier? To use her as a "mole" they would have had to have known in advance she'd get hired in the first place, which is something even they couldn't be sure about. Far-fetched Swiss-cheese script.

Agatha Christie would have a thing or two to teach these clueless millennial screen-writers. She does stem though from a far more intelligent and grounded generation, so there is no comparison.

But that's OK, I can even forgive SC its lame predictability. What I do mind is a lack of realism. This is NOT yet another Aussie horror comedy, despite the first half-hour's somewhat irreverent approach. (Aussies are like that, they just can't help it.) Hence I hold the script to a higher level of accountability logic-wise than I would some goofy horror comedy. That some underground snuff organization actually exists and gets away with it all, in public for all to know, is just asinine. Or maybe the Aussie police aren't even hunting for them? Maybe murder had already been legalized in Australia by 2016?

The show's producer barely reacts to the actor getting his hand impaled with a working tool! Instead of showing concern and shock, the producer can't wipe the grin off his face. This is utterly unrealistic, utter baloney, even for a comedy. And I repeat: this isn't a comedy. Not to mention what a terrible actor plays this producer. His reactions are awful throughout. His reactions to being wheeled in to be cremated alive? Barely much. I've seen people show more concern and emotion about having to stand in a line for an hour.

The two survivors, the love-birds (the stooge and the producer), actually go BACK to the main building (asylum) to search for survivors. Who in their right minds would try to save friends/colleagues while under attack from a large, well-organized, heavily armed, terrorist squad of murderous psychopaths? What chance do they have? Too dumb. The natural reaction would be to flee at great speed then call the police. (Admittedly, we don't know if the cops would have helped, considering that sadistic random murder might have been legalized Down Under by 2016.) By this point the movie wasn't even trying to be half-way logical. It basically started treating the audience like morons.

Speaking of cops, the last scene is atrocious, your standard cop-out ending scripted by a clueless writer with zero imagination. It doesn't resolve anything, doesn't serve any purpose, at least not in terms of concluding a movie. It's almost as if they'd run out of movie reels, and decided to call it a day. Are we supposed to be intrigued by what might happen next? In order to be intrigued, the movie has to fulfill its promise/potential while it lasts. It clearly didn't, hence by the time this drivel is wrapped up I am simply not interested. They could have pulled out three-headed dancing bears at that point, it would have made no difference.

There was some potential in this, but several dodgy performances and especially shoddy writing sunk it.
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A prank within a prank
gedikreverdi28 February 2021
Warning: Spoilers
The first part where they pranked Emma with the man that stayed at the psychiatric hospital Rohan was actually the best part of the movie. The beginning where they pranked the security guard of the morgue was ok too but then the movie got bland although there were a lot of killings u couldn't get into the movie. Maybe it was because it was a prank again and again made me feel like its again a prank right? Emma the final girl was the best actor in the movie. Marcus and other pranked Emma and the masked freaks pranked Emma and Marcus for real and the girl that Emma saved instead of Marcus was also an accomplice to the murders of the freaks because Marcus watched some footage showing her acting in the coffin before he was burned alive in the oven. Emma and the accomplice Abby was driving to a town thinking she saved Abby but there was another camera of the freaks at the van recording them. It was an ok slasher. I expected it to be a lot better after I watched really good Australian horror movies like the loved ones, the furies and storm warning.
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Predictable but fun
ekwetherington24 February 2021
Warning: Spoilers
You can see all the plot twists coming from a mile away if you've ever seen a horror movie, but it has some great practical effects and the villains are quite menacing. Worth one watch.
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It had several twists
robbierobin21 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I saw 2 out of 3 twist of coming shortly before they were revealed. It was great acting, really pulled me into the story. I would've loved for it to have ended with Emma being the one playing the final prank using the masked freaks. Interesting end, I would've like to have a little more idea of the actual ending.
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suspense horror movies
afzalmethala31 August 2018
This was a good horror movie, again negative reviews by fans of 50 shades of grey, looks like they are everywhere like masked freaks in this movie.
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Thumbs Up!
shamis-881-2578929 January 2018
Unexpectedly nice movie. Good script, brilliant acting. Loads of Gore! For gore horror fans, this is a definite watch. good stuff.
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I <3 Gore!
gab-6759921 March 2021
At first when I found out it was an Australian movie, I didn't have high hopes. I have seen more than a few Australian movies, and they were ALL let downs. In the beginning, Emma went back and forth from Australian accent, to perfect English. This made me think the movie would suck. Also with no subtitles, foreign accents are so difficult for me to hear and understand. Thankfully this one was not too bad. I loved this movie except the end that made you want to know what happened next. I hate incomplete stories. I would recommend if you like The Purge, or anything with gore and a good twist to it.
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