SCARY OR DIE is an anthology featuring the stories The Crossing, TaeJung’s Lament, Re-membered, Clowned, and Lover Come Back. I would say it is hard to say what makes a good anthology but I would be lying. A good anthology is made up of a set of well written and well produced vignettes (CREEPSHOW, shit, even SCREAMTIME anyone?). Unfortunately SCARY OR DIE is not a good anthology. It does however have a solid entry and one seriously flawed yet still decent entry. The rest of the stories are overly contrived pieces of shit.
“The Crossing” is the solid entry. It’s capably written, it’s timely, it’s profane, and it’s violent. 3S fave Bill Oberst Jr. plays Buck who is an intense backwoods type who has an all consuming hatred of latinos. His sidekick is Keith and his woman is Connie. Buck and Keith carry out their machinations while dragging the unwitting Connie along with them. Buck is pissed that he is losing his country to illegal immigrants from south of the border. He’s so pissed he doesn’t care if his victim is even an illegal or a native. If they look ethnic they are guilty enough for Buck and Keith. Bill can be a scary man and his turn as Buck shows he doesn’t need any props or supernatural angle to his characters to pull it off. Needless to say Buck and Keith are confronted by their own evil in a practical effects laden showdown.
“TaeJung’s Lament” is only interesting in the way that it seems so alien. I like the take on the Korean Los Angelino community but if I am looking for a flick with that kind of bent I’ll watch LOST IN TRANSLATION for a fuller submersion. The gotcha at the end of the segment is terrible.
“Re-membered” is just totally forgettable.
“Clowned” is the other segment that showed some promise. Clowns scare the shit out of me. Apparently they scare the shit out of enough people that the phobia has a name–coulrophobia. This bit features a monstrous and supernatural clown that would make John Wayne Gacy shit his polka dotted underpants. Worse yet it passes from person to person through a bite like the standard zombie virus. Instead of craving brains the monsters crave the flesh of young children. Where does this fall apart? It starts to throw up on itself when it uses internal monologue voiceovers. This is a movie. Fucking show me what to be afraid of don’t tell me. If I want someone to tell me what to be afraid of I’ll watch a fucking political ad or two.
“Lover Come Back” is also a travesty of voiceover to the point it is an unbearable pile. The vignettes are loosely tied together by the girl in the final vignette who seems to pull a Facebook stalker kind of role searching the site scaryordie.com between each segment the hand becomes more and more decayed until the final payoff…she gets up and shuts the door. For realz.
If you wanna check it out watch the first segment if you want to dig deeper watch the fourth as well but the others will leave you feeling like you got suckered. In the end its a good short, a mediocre short and some dreck.