Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge (2022)

Written & Directed by ALexandra Barreto, Cameron Burns, Anthony Cousins, John Karsko, Aaron B. Koontz, Jed Shepherd, Rachele WIggins
Paper Street Pictures

So, although I have been disregarding my obligations to this project lately – it’s been tough to make myself buckle down and watch my stockpile of worthy titles – as soon as I discovered this “Shudder Original” I settled in and watched it start to finish. This sequel hews a little more closely to the usually clumsy wraparound setup of your basic horror anthology, as it takes place during Chad’s funeral with a Saw-type series of deadly obstacles or challenges. That’s all fair-to-middlin’ stuff, really, but as per the standard established during the first go-round, some of the parodic segments are idiotically gratifying. Actually, all but the last of these (“We’re So Dead”) are reasonably entertaining; I was particularly amused by “The Night He Came Back Again! Part VI – The Night She Came Back,” but “Welcome To The 90s” and “Special Edition” (produced “in association with Screen Anthology”) are also clever enough. “We’re So Dead,” however, is not, and accompanies an equally uninspired section of the overall storyline. (Much like the first installment, this edition goes on a little too long.) Meanwhile, the ending supplies a clear setup for yet another collection, which I’m not sure I’m ready to endorse. One V/H/S franchise is enough, probably, and whatever point is intended to be proven here probably won’t become more perspicacious through further repetition.


Why Did I Watch This Movie?

My interest was genuinely piqued.



Should You Watch This Movie?

Depends on your tolerance for redundancy.


Highlight and Low Point

I was gonna cite the various seemingly hilarious theme songs, but upon further inspection I’m not sure their inclusion is supposed to be all that ironic.

Rating From Outer Space: B−

They/Them (2022)

Written And Directed By John Logan
Bh/Desert Wolf

You know, if you’re a horror movie kinda person, you might make some general allowances for films made in your preferred idiom. For example, imagine, oh, I don’t know … maybe a “slasher” flick that takes place at … oh, let’s say a “camp.” With such a familiar setup, you therefore might reasonably expect certain motifs, themes, tropes, what-have-you. And when all the stuff you more or less expect happens, it’s more or less what you’re willing to accept.

Except familiarity breeds contempt, and in this made-for-TV “Peacock original,” there are multiple problems. After the not-unforeseeable reveal is, well, revealed, it just doesn’t pass muster, a literally unbelievable gaffe that’s a disastrous last choice for Their underwhelming genre attempt.

I had higher hopes for this picture. I did appreciate the mild pronoun joke (poorly aped just above). And though I’ll grant that one must start somewhere in working out how to approach broadening the scope of flicks like these, this attempt mainly just shoehorns orientation/gender topics into an unimaginative template. I began this piece by pointing out my willingness to play along, but – ironically enough – this production mainly comes across like it’s not sure what it really wants to be.

Uninspired even by stock horror standards, it feels as though it was written around its cliché bonding moment – a musical number.

Why Did I Watch This Movie?

In another review, I suggested a “slasher movie where the trans character breaks the usual archetype,” and imagined that potential addressed here.

Should You Watch This Movie?

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t come close, but one character (“Jordan”) takes a tentative step.


Highlight and Low Point

HEY DIDJA KNOW THE TITLE’S PRONOUNCED “THEY SLASH THEM”


That attempted witticism’s not even an accurate synopsis!

Rating From OUter SPace: D+

The Craft Legacy (2020)

written and directed by zoe lister-jones
blumhouse productions/columbia pictures/red wagon entertainment

Man (cue ironic sound effect) is there a lot to unpack here. Less a legitimate horror picture, or even a reboot of the 1996 teen scream queen forerunner, than a thinly disguised manifesto of sorts about inclusion and acceptance, this high-school witchery drama occasionally tries a little too hard to be young, hip and NOW, but you know what? Were I a misfit teen I’d probably be able to look past its afterschool-special veneer, its glossy luster and its sanded-down edges to just enjoy the message lurking beneath. That not-so-subtle message is, of course, that the world ordered by traditional white men is being usurped by the rainbow coalition. And I say, even as a no-longer-young white male, just go right ahead and strictly populate every movie from now on with nothing but mixed races and every nonconforming gender variant you can goddamn conjure up, maybe all the reactionary bigots and proud boys will have brain hemorrhages from the bile backing up as their outrage boils. Can’t happen soon enough.

why did i watch this movie?

I read a gushing review and was all like, wait, they remade THAT?
(Saw the original in the theater.)
(Yep, it’s another one of those.)


should you watch this movie?

Those that cower in mortal fear of the woke brigades should steer clear. And there isn’t even any overt BLM messaging!

highlight and low point

This is the second flick featuring a trans girl I’ve seen in five months; in the first she’s a vampire and here she’s a witch. I’ll give you the following million-dollar idea for free: A slasher movie where the trans character breaks the usual archetype. You’re welcome. (At least thank me in the credits.)

rating from outer space: B−