If you are swimming in the ocean of content that is available to horror fans this October you are not alone. There are so many great films and shorts out there to check out that you could probably consume 5 films per day and still not watch everything that has been released this month.
So allow me to add something else to your spooky rotation that harkens back to getting together with friends around the campfire and telling scary stories. I’m talking about the Shudder Original film ‘Scare Me’ from writer / director Josh Ruben.
‘Scare Me’ takes place during a power outage when two strangers tell scary stories. It plays on a lot of horror tropes and unfolds like a love letter to horror and Halloween with call-outs to ‘Tales From the Crypt,’ ‘The Shining,’ and gives off at times an ‘Evil Dead’ vibe when Aya acts out someone who is possessed.
Josh Ruben not only wrote and directed the film but plays Fred. A struggling writer trying to find the story that will launch his career. While doing so he runs across an acclaimed horror author, Fanny, played by Aya Cash (The Boys, You’re the Worst). After a chance meeting in remote cabins the two hunker down together when the power goes out to swap scary stories. As they commit to their tales, the more the stories come to life in the dark of a Catskills cabin. The horrors of reality manifest when Fred confronts his ultimate fear: Fanny may be the better storyteller.
The film is carried by three actors and could easily be adapted into a stage play that is brought to life through energetic and imaginative performances from Josh, Aya and Saturday Night Live cast member, Chris Redd who comes into the film during the third act.
Due to the low budget nature of the film the atmospheric setting of the cabin, incredible sound design and performances carry the film further than I would have imagined. This was a true exercise in independent filmmaking as I found out Josh emptied his 401K to finance the film. The carefully crafted approach also shines through when we see added practical effects added to each fireside tale that really adds an extra punch to the stories and breaks down the 4th wall a bit.
I highly recommend checking out ‘Scare Me’on Shudder this Halloween. Check out our full interviews with Aya Cash and Josh Ruben below!