Monday, February 17, 2014

Scary or Die - Review - @BrandonCSites / #Horror

Scary or Die (2012) **
D: Michael Emanuel, Bob Badway, Igor Meglic 
C: Corbin Bleu, Elizabeth Di Prinzio, Bill Oberst Jr., Domiziano Arcangeli, Christopher Darga, Nikki Moore, Charles Rahi Chun  
Plot Synopsis: A zombie like creature watches a selection of terror tales ranging from Mexican zombies to a killer clown with a conscious on a laptop computer on a site entitled "Scary or Die". 

REVIEW: There's an old phrase, You're only as strong as your weakest link. That phrase has never resonated so much with a movie like it has with Scary or Die. On the positive side, Scary or Die is well acted & well visualized. There is a richness to the film's production design. The film's use of makeup, sets & props is striking. However, Scary or Die's camerawork is quite problematic. The camera is inexplicably shaking back and forth throughout the entire film. At first it's jarring. Then as the film moves along, it becomes quite annoying. So annoying, in fact, that Scary or Die becomes a chore. 

Story wise, with Scary or Die there could have been more cohesion between the tales. With an anthology, even though the film is telling separate stories, there needs to be a common theme that connects all the tales together and makes them work together as one feature length film. With Scary or Die, it's never quite clear what point the film is trying to make. As for the all important wraparound segment, that feels more like a throwaway then anything else. 

Cohesion aside, some of the tales work, some don't. Some only run a few minutes, while others run for nearly half an hour. This leaves the film feeling disjointed and uneven more so. Some of the tales do offer up something refreshingly different - Mexican zombies punishing the people that made life difficult for them, a killer clown suffering from a moral dilemma, etc. 

With Scary or Die, the film never feels like one seamless film. There's some good ideas (and some not so good ones), but the pieces never quite connect. Secondly, they forget to keep the camera in focus and from shaking, which makes Scary or Die more of a hindrance to sit through, then a joy. [R] 94 mins.


  1. Maybe your eyeballs are shaking, because I see no shaky camera in the trailer YOU provided......
    AND - if you're going to write a self-important, snarky review, maybe you should have someone check your mistakes:
    "As for the all important wraparound segment, that feels more like more a throwaway then again else"
    That sentence makes NO sense!
    Were you trying to say "than anything else"?
    I get such a kick out of you nobodys who write reviews as though you could do a better job personally. When I see "Brandon C. Sites" on the credits of a good movie, MAYBE then I'd take you seriously, but right now, your coming off like a kid fresh out of film school who's only knowledge about movies, is what was in his syllabus......

    1. im not agreeing or disagreeing. i just think you sound like you took his review personally...just sayin

    2. That guy was so butt hurt.

    3. Dear Anonymous,

      1.) I did not write a self-important, snarky review. I wrote as to how I honestly felt about the film. Tell me where I wrote one mean spirited comment directed towards the film?
      2.) I made one spelling mistake. That can be easily corrected. On the other hand, poor camera work is not so easy to fix, unless you re-shoot.
      3.) My quotes have actually been featured on films, on the artwork to various films, in film trailers, etc.
      4.) I have written and produced a feature length film. Whether mine or yours is better, ....well that's subjective and up to whoever views both films.
      5.) Judging from your comments, it sounds like you were involved in this film's production in some way. If you are in the movie business and you can't handle criticism, then you're in the wrong business. Someone will always be criticizing you and you got to be able to take the good with the bad.

  2. totally agree with u man... this movie is a good one and also it has a fresh feel about it.....

  3. One of the worst "horror" movies I've ever seen and I've seen plenty. I wouldn't recommend this to my worst enemy.

  4. I watched this over 2 nights. I'd never heard of it and didn't read the reviews first but I love the horror genre and figured I'd give it a try. I don't recall any shaky camera work. If anything I just felt the picture was dark and hard to make out what was happening sometimes. But no camera shaking. I couldn't see how these film shorts were connected to one another either.
    That being said, I agree that it was well acted. I found myself caring about some of the characters, especially the accidental clown. There were also unexpected twists that were quite horrifying.
    Overall I found this movie to be enjoyable overall and think it deserves a solid 3 stars.