Directed by Cameron Cairnes [Other horror films: 100 Bloody Acres (2012)] & Colin Cairnes [100 Bloody Acres (2012)]
I didn’t go into this one knowing too much about it, aside from the fact the plot sounded interesting and Olivia DeJonge (The Visit and Better Watch Out) was in it. Otherwise, I went in pretty blind, and overall, I’d say that Scare Campaign was a pretty decent movie. Not amazing, by any stretch, but good.
The plot, dealing with a Scare Tactic-like television crew, was pretty unique and, at times, meta (such as DeJonge’s character’s love of horror films). I think it gets a bit more muddled than necessary toward the end, but it was still decent. I do applaud the fact that they kept the movie played straight, when they easily could have moved to a more comedic direction (think Fear, Inc.), so kudos there.
Olivia DeJonge wasn’t the main star here, but I think she did really well in her role. There were some aspects to her character that didn’t really hit as hard as was probably intended, but she still did great. Meegan Warner (who I know only from the woeful The Veil) played a compelling main character, especially with the direction the movie went in during the second half.
I don’t know Ian Meadows, but I liked him here, despite the fact that his character is pretty on the fence between being pleasantly annoying to being an outright dick. Josh Quong Tart’s character was an interesting one, because some of our expectations are a bit subverted, giving his character a bit more depth than we first might think. Most of the other performances are solid, but few stand out like these four did.
As far as the gore goes, Scare Campaign isn’t mind-blowingly awesome, but there were some occasionally great scenes. There’s not really a stand-out scene of gore, at least in my view, but there’s still enough here to keep the casual slasher fan happy.
Though I think the movie is far from perfect, I don’t have any major critiques of the story. I do think some reveals toward the end were a bit weak, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t welcomed, just that they were anticipated. The turn-of-events about halfway through the film, though, really took me for a ride, and I utterly loved it, so Scare Campaign definitely did some things right.
The movie isn’t amazing, but this Australian film is still pretty solid, and definitely worth at least a single watch.
This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss Scare Campaign.