REVIEW: ‘Scare Zone’

Scare Zone, which was filmed at Halloween Horror Nights, had the potential to be something exciting, only to fall apart almost immediately.

When it comes to watching indie horror movies, every so often you’ll come upon a true gem of a movie. Scare Zone is not one of those gems. At all. Scare Zone is something that feels half-baked. It truly never comes together and it’s all the more evident in the final scenes of the film. The best way to explained Scare Zone is that it feels like a project that was filmed for some friends to gain experience making movies. The scares are terrible, as is the acting for the most part. The most frustrating thing about Scare Zone, however, is that the premise for this film was promising. So, how does such an interesting premise go so wrong? That’s the question you’ll be asking yourself after watching this indie horror movie.

The press release for Scare Zone notes that the movie hails from the creator of such rides as Shrek 4D in Universal Studios and Pirates 4D! in Sea World. It’s odd that these are used as selling points. A Shrek ride isn’t exactly something viewers will want to consider when debating to watch Scare Zone, even if the ride is enjoyable. Perhaps the most frustrating part of the movie, though, is that it was filmed at Halloween Horror Nights. In a film that is supposed to tease what would occur if a killer nested in a haunted house, Scare Zone could have easily taken advantage of its setting and yet, it doesn’t. It never feels as though the movie understands how to tell its proposed story. Sure, horror films have a habit of trying to be funny before all hell breaks loose, but Scare Zone seems determined to be funny more so than scary. It’s a mixture of the acting and the poorly written dialogue that kill this movie as soon as it starts.

An idea is nothing if it is poorly executed. While writer-director Jon Binkowski had a great idea, it didn’t translate to the screen. What if there was a killer that lived on set of a haunted house-type attraction and was driven to kill unsuspecting workers? It is a great concept and something that would make sense to film at Halloween Horror Nights. Unfortunately, Scare Zone feels like a minimal effort take on the premise. It spends a fair amount of time trying to build a relationship between two of the haunted house workers, and a majority of the kills aren’t even shown. The ones that are? Well, they’re more amusing than scary.

If Binkowski had the budget along with better talent and a tighter script, Scare Zone could’ve been an enjoyable little horror movie. But this isn’t about what-ifs, this is about a movie that falls apart almost instantly. It’s described as a well-received indie horror film, so perhaps there are others that enjoyed Scare Zone despite its problems. This writer sadly was not one of them.

One final note: There are some flashing lights in the film. Unfortunately, though, the film has no warning, so please keep this in mind.

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