Created by Aaron B. Koontz and Cameron burns2019 Fear package failed to gain the traction that other exclusive Shudder releases usually get. The main reason is that Fear package is an anthology made by horror fans, for horror fans, inviting people to identify hundreds of references to the genre’s classics and laugh at its tropes. In short, Fear package is a niche release that doesn’t engage casual horror fans or people looking for great movies to watch, regardless of genre. Although there is nothing wrong with this approach, it is recommended to recommend Fear package more difficult, as the audience must have a specific background to enjoy its many horror-themed jokes. Scare Pack II: Rad Chad’s Revenge, for better or worse, follows the same trend as the first film. And as such it has many of the same strengths and weaknesses as the original. Fear Package.
The first one Fear Package told the story of Rad Chad (Jeremy King), the owner of a horror video store. The film tells two related frame stories featuring Chad, while we’re also presented with six other shorts that are meant to be horror classics. Each of these eight stories gets extremely meta as they deconstruct horror tropes and expose the absurdity of the genre. This process, however, is not conducted to critique horror. Instead, Fear package is a party, like when old friends get together to laugh at the failures in their lives. In anthology form, Fear package suffers from uneven entries, and the narrative framing used to present the shorts overwhelms its welcome. Again, Fear Package is a solid entry for horror aficionados, though self-referential humor might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Scare Pack II: Rad Chad’s Revenge follows the same structure as the first movie, ironing out some of the things that didn’t quite work before. For starters, there’s only one framing story instead of two to simplify the story-tracking process. There are also fewer shorts, which immediately makes Scare Pack II: Rad Chad’s Revenge feels more focused and streamlined than the first entry.
Besides the titular “Rad Chad’s Revenge” framing narrative, directed by Koontz, Scary Package II has four short films. The first and arguably the most interesting story of the bunch is Alexandra Barreto“Welcome to the 90s” by “Welcome to the 90s” focused on the concept of final girls and how it carried sexist undertones before being deconstructed in the 1990s – thanks, Wes Craven! Two more stories Jed Berger“Special Edition” and Rachele Wiggins“We’re So Dead” are direct parodies of some horror classics and function as sketches. Finally, we have Antoine Cousins returning from the first Fear package to “The Night He Came Back Again Part VI – The Night She Came Back,” a direct sequel to his slasher deconstruction with diminished returns due to lack of novelty.
When it comes to the quality of these stories, your mileage may vary depending on how happy recognizing the references to other movies makes you, because the whole anthology is all about spoofing classics, removing iconic lines or to discuss specific tropes. Saw, Extraterrestrial, buffy the vampire slayer, psychology, Thesilenceofthelambs, Ring, Resuscitator, hellraiser… We could fill this whole review with all the winks of Scare Pack II: Rad Chad’s Revenge to horror, and the entire creative team is clearly passionate about the genre. However, for some people, it may not be enough to parody beloved movies without offering a more cohesive narrative.
Scare Pack II: Rad Chad’s Revenge is more alienating than the first movie too because it constantly references itself by bringing back key characters and asking the audience to remember all the main events of the previous framing narrative. Therefore, Scare Pack II: Rad Chad’s Revenge suffers from the same problem that superhero media has had for the past few years, as it requires homework to be done in order for you to follow and perhaps appreciate the story the movie is trying to tell. It won’t be a problem for hardcore fans, but Scare Pack II: Rad Chad’s Revenge still hasn’t found a way to make the franchise more widely accessible.
Again, Fear package is an anthology franchise about fun and sharing a mutual devotion to a genre often treated as an inferior cinematic experience. And like Scare Pack II: Rad Chad’s Revenge points out, horror is among the richest and most varied genres. It allows for experimentation like nowhere else, and as a result, we get classics that reflect complex philosophical questions and glorious laid-back fun. We can’t help but admire the effort that goes into making Scare Pack II: Rad Chad’s Revenge, especially since we share the creative team’s love of horror. So for all its flaws, the sequel is still a great movie to watch in good company, with a drink in your hand, a smile on your face, and horny fingers pointing at the screen with every wink at some of the most popular horror movies. already.
Scare Pack II: Rad Chad’s Revenge debuts on Shudder on December 22.