SCARE Movie Review

SCARE: A Monster of a Documentary!
By Noah Wullkotte

SCARE: A Look Behind the Shadows takes viewers on a journey through the twisted mind of Kelly Collins. He’s the genius behind the ScareAtorium, one of Ohio’s most frightening attractions. Discover what makes this house of horrors so scary and learn the ins and outs of the haunt industry. The film’s opening scene features medical personnel escorting crazed mental patients out of an ambulance and leading them into the ScareAtorium.

This 2 hour documentary dives deep into Kelly Collins’ history of running various haunted attractions throughout Central Ohio. You’ll enjoy learning about the behind the scenes of Terror Park and how Kelly first got involved in haunts. Kelly is definitely the standout character of SCARE. He lives and breathes everything that’s spooky and loves to scare the living daylights out of people. He looks like a normal guy during the day, but when the sun goes down all hell breaks loose after he opens the ScareAtorium. He’s truly demented and treats his staff like family.

What impressed me the most about SCARE was that it didn’t try to exploit the haunt industry by making haunters look like weirdos. This was definitely the case with the documentary Haunters released in 2017. When it comes down to it, most people who work for haunts are quite normal. They have a strong passion for Halloween, Horror and things that go bump in the night. They’re looking for a place where they can express themselves and the paycheck is an added bonus.

At times I felt like I worked for the ScareAtorium as I watched the movie SCARE. There are scenes that are action packed. I got to experience what the actors go through as they audition, apply makeup and get ready for a night of scaring the pants off of customers. If you’re a fan of the haunt industry then you’re in for a real treat. Even those who’ve never toured a haunt will find something entertaining about this documentary.

The Maestro of Fear Kelly Collins is seen backstage at the ScareAtorium!

Sometimes haunt documentaries can get a little carried away with showing too much footage of room and set construction. SCARE had just the right amount. Yes, there are things that could have been improved. Some of the editing is so so. I wasn’t a fan of how they showed old haunt footage and placed it on top of a person’s head as they were talking. This was somewhat distracting. Much of the movie lacks a soundtrack. This is fine for the most part, but some Midnight Syndicate or Nox Arcana would have made a few scenes more interesting.

I wanted to see what life was like outside of the haunt for some of the staff. This would help viewers be able to relate to the monsters. There were also a few scenes that might have been confusing for those who aren’t involved in the haunt industry. The movie never explained why the haunt was open during the day. It was for the Midwest Haunters Convention.

The DVD doesn’t have any extras except for a movie trailer for SCARE. Some bloopers and deleted scenes would have added more value to the DVD. An animated menu would have been a nice addition as well. The picture is fine, but I’m sure many would pay more for a Blu-Ray version of the film. With that being said, SCARE is a good documentary that shows the blood, sweat and tears that goes into running a top haunt. It seems that many haunt documentaries resemble a reality show that’s filled with scripted drama.

This isn’t the case with the movie SCARE. It celebrates all that’s great about the haunt industry and hopefully it encourages those who might be interested in working for their local haunted attraction. This documentary is bittersweet considering that the ScareAtorium was sold in 2017 to the Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group. This is a film you don’t want to miss out on and would make a great addition to your DVD collection. I give SCARE two severed thumbs up and hopefully it becomes a big hit.

Click here to order a copy of SCARE: A Look Behind the Shadows.