I remember the original Scare Package being kind of fun, inventive and engaged with horror history … but it didn’t quite imprint itself so deeply that I instantly picked up on the callbacks and returning characters in this sequel, which presumes a little too much on the viewer’s recall of Scare Package even as its segments poke fun at films that have mainstream cognisance and which genre fans could quote off by heart.
Rad Chad (Jeremy King) died in the first film and this starts with his funeral, where he addresses the mourners via VHS and then becomes a version of Tobin Bell’s Jigsaw – who also stayed active in his franchise after he’d been killed off out of it – and sets tests for his captive audience between showing them videos which offer their own self-contained stories. Alexandra Barreto’s ‘Welcome to the 90s’ is set on New Year’s Eve, 1989, as a masked killer (Joshua Miller) avoids the Sure To Die sorority house party and invades the sanctum of an array of Final Girls – parodies of the survivors of Alien, A Nightmare on Elm ST, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, etc. – and forces them to reassess their own stereotypes while being murdered, with Buffy (Steph Barkley) leading a shift in the characterisation of survivors that will take hold in the 1990s (though – note – Sarah Michelle Gellar got killed in I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2). Anthony Cousins’ ‘The Night He Came Back Again! Part VI The Night She Came Back is a skit on the latter stages of the Halloween franchise questioning how both Michael and Laurie can be hardy enough to survive multiple manglings. Jed Shepherd’s ‘Special Edition’, starring the women of Host, is set in a creepy lighthouse and obsessively embroiders the legend that you can freeze-frame Three Men and a Baby and see a ghost – though, to fit in thematically with this scattershot attack on sequels and franchises it’d have been handier if the spectre were in Three Men and a Little Lady (unless being a remake gets the original TM&aB into the frame). Rachele Wiggins’ ‘We’re So Dead’ is another musing on/joke at the expense of horror sequels that flog dead, reanimated and dead again horses.
Aaron B. Koontz, the ringmaster of it all, scripted or co-scripted several of the stories and directed and scripted the wraparound, which is thicker this time and more elaborate – subjecting the likes of Zoe Graham, Kelli Maroney, Shakira Ja’nai Paye, Rich Sommer and Graham Skipper to various mutilations and homilies. The playing is broad, but mostly not quite to the point of becoming as annoying as in too many Troma-type horror comedies, and there are as many dumb jokes as pointed stabs at horror franchise conventions. The end credits promise or threaten a part three if anyone stumps up the money for it.