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Are You Scared? (2006)
23rd Apr 07
Six teens, all qualifying for the title of ‘America’s Most Irritating’, wake up in an old warehouse. They soon realise that they on the set for a reality show called ‘Are You Scared?’ for which they had all sent audition tapes sometime ago.
What they didn’t know at the time is that the tasks in which they face their greatest fears on the show are no wins – if they don’t participate they are eliminated, quite spectacularly by being blown up, and in doing the task they also won’t win.
A scarred freak watches over them all on his bank of TV sets, his agenda revealing itself to be more personal for one particular participant, as two standard inept cops close in on him.
Chances are if the idea of a below average version of the silly franchise Saw gets you buzzing then this is the ideal evening’s entertainment for you. For everyone else it is a passable watch that borders occasionally on irritating, making little sense with its retarded ‘to get what you want in life you have to suffer’ ethos.
If people have to suffer for what they want to the extent that they end up dead, then how did the suffering actually get them to learn that message for any longer than it takes them to be blown up or drilled in the head? And at the end of the day it all seems to have been geared by the villain to get his daughter back for setting him on fire rather than anything else, making his agenda of suffering for what you want suck big time.
The villain, referred to as Shadow Man in the credits, has obviously spent too much time watching the Saw franchise affecting spooky ‘do you want to play a game’ styled voice-overs and leaving a key inside a victim for them to cut out or die. What he forgot to do was do it well. Still there’s a nicely done decapitation and a cheer-worthy body explosion that could have benefited from more guts, in both senses, but they both still hit the spot nicely.
The camera moves around a lot and there is a nifty use of lighting to disguise the fact that the sets are really quite crap. Witness the after-titles sequence whereby armed police point their guns in various corners of the latest crime scene laughably exposing the limited set around them rather than provide anything else of use to the viewer.
Marvel at how one minute the token black character starts off squealing and panicking about the bandaged wound he woke up with, suddenly start giggling and whooping for joy when he thinks he is on a reality TV show. Or is it a comment on today’s Heat culture of non-achieving-celebrities? You decide. Despite each character being oblivious to the danger they are facing it doesn’t distract from them watching their audition piece for the ‘programme’ even when they are being pursued or bleeding to death.
Alethea Kutscher makes for a spunky lead and Brent Fidler makes for an imposing shape as ‘Shadow Man’ however even at a short seventy nine minutes, chances are you’ll feel aged like you have just spent a day watching it. Do yourself a favour. Turn the disc off and watch something else instead like the vastly more engrossing Wrestlemaniac also out soon to rent.
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