25th Oct2019

‘Scare Attraction’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Primrose Bigwood, Elliot Cable, Sonera Angel, Tony Fadil, Earl Ling, Jon-Paul Gates, Kit Pascoe, Rad Brown, Willie Coppen, Jimmy ‘The Bee’ Bennett, Can Somer | Written and Directed by Steven M. Smith


It’s October so it’s must be Halloween attraction-going time right? Well if the movies are anything to go by that’s definitely the case. The latest take on the Halloween scare attraction is literally that, a film called Scare Attraction, from British writer/director Steven M. Smith, who’s resume reads like a list of horror films to always avoid! Though to be fair to Smith his last direct to DVD title, The Haunting of Borley Rectory, seems to have found one hell of an audience in the UK, remaining on the official charts for what felt like and eternity (actually 18 weeks, something of a record for a DTV title these days)

Scare Attraction tells the story of the titular venue, which is being visited by a couple of chavvy w@nkers, Peter and Susie, who have scored a modicum of reality TV fame after appearing on a show called Love Nest (oh, I wondered which ITV show THAT is supposed to be?). The duo get paid a grand each to walk through the attraction – run by a bunch of am-dram lovies – whilst being filmed as part of the organisers promotion of the venue.

Of course, this is a horror film and things have to go wrong don’t they? And they do. You see, our protagonists, their minders, and some of the organisers themselves are tapped in one of the attractions escape rooms – the whole point of them right? However this escape room turns deadly as gas leaks in leaving them unconscious. When they awake, the reality TV stars find themselves bound and trapped in individual chairs. And a voice tells them they must tell a truth or die…

Filmed in a combination of found-footage and traditional methods, Scare Attraction was apparently filmed in a mere 4 days in on location. And it shows. Though, in all honesty, Scare Attraction does the exact same thing as the much bigger-budgeted Haunt on a fraction of the cost. Which is commendable at least. So what do the two films have in common? Well, they’re both bloody disappointing!

There’s some flourishes of brilliance in the film, in particular the footage featuring scenes from “other” scare attractions (which pad out this films short running time) – though we could’ve done with less of that bloody “Charlie” footage – and the slow-mo scenes of our “contestants” trying to escape the haunted house once they’re free of the escape room. It’s just a shame that the rest of the film can’t live up to those brief slices of genius.

If you’ve ever seen any of the Truth or Dare movies, no matter who made them – because there have been a LOT of films called Truth or Dare – you’ll know what to expect from Scare Attraction. The fact that this takes place at the titular venue actually has little to do with the films ultimate plot (it instead relates more to all the footage used to pad the running time out) and as such is more of a marketing ploy to get Halloween fans watching. But then isn’t that how a lot of Smith’s films are marketed?

Scare Attraction is out now on DVD and Digital from 101 Films.


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