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Shudder Secrets: Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge Explained

The first Scare Package was a hit among horror fans, a creative anthology that blended humor with a sharp self-awareness about the genre. The sequel, Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge, is packed with even more blatant nods to horror classics and plenty of gruesome laughs. It also features a few returning characters from the first film, including the final girl Jessie (Zoe Graham), and horror movie nerd “Rad” Chad (Jeremy King), whose funeral sets up the wrap-around for the sequel.

Scare Package II contains four brand-new segments, most of which toy with horror tropes and beloved genre icons. As a whole, they make for a cohesive anthology and one heck of an entertaining watch. You should definitely press play on this sequel.

The Wrap-Around

For those who don’t remember or who haven’t seen the first film, Chad was the horror movie guru who ran a fledgling video store and introduced the tales. However, he didn’t make it out of the movie alive. His funeral sparks the wrap-around and brings back the final girl, among a cast of new characters, including scream queen Kelli Maroney (Chopping Mall, Night of the Comet). She plays Jessie’s mom.

It turns out, in death, Chad wants revenge. People just didn’t appreciate horror enough. So, they must die. Those who show up to his funeral are forced to play Saw-like games and navigate traps based on some of Chad’s favorite movies. It’s clever and a gory good time.

That said, the wrap-around isn’t so tied into the first film that it alienates new viewers. In fact, this sequel, as a whole, stands on its own. There’s just enough backstory about Chad’s fate in the first film to fill in new viewers. From there, the audience is treated to four engaging segments that stand on their own.

Welcome to the 90s

The first segment, directed by Alexandra Barreto, is my favorite. Set on New Year’s Eve 1989, it’s a spoof of the classic final girl tropes. All of the main characters are named after final girls from the 70s and 80s, including Ginny (Friday the 13th), Laurie (Halloween), Sally (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Nancy (A Nightmare on Elm Street), and Ellen (Alien). When a masked boogeyman starts picking people off, the ladies are certain they’re safe. As one of them quips, “Killers take us for granted. They don’t kill us…Just look at our androgynous pants.” However, when the maniac busts into their home and targets them, they wonder what’s up.

Que Buffy (Steph Barkley), a spunky cheerleader from next door who isn’t afraid to drink or flaunt her sexuality. Yes, she’s based on 90s all-around badass Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar). Here, she pulls the classic final girls into the last decade of the 20th Century and shows them how/why the trope can evolve. She even tells them that just because she wears a skirt doesn’t mean she should die.

Sure, this segment is silly. However, it’s also a witty exploration and even criticism of the final girl trope that details its evolution into the 90s when a new crop of survivors, especially Buffy and Sidney in Scream, broke all the previous rules. They could drink, have sex, and live.

The Night He Came Back Again! Part VI: The Night She Came Back

Directed by Anthony Cousins, the second segment is a wild spoof of Halloween, but set on July 4th. Here, we have another final girl, Daisy (Chelsey Grant) plagued by nightmares of a masked serial killer. It turns out he’s her brother and returns home every holiday. Sound familiar?

There’s also a Loomis-like character, Dr. Castle, played by Michael Paul Levin. For me, this was the best part of the segment. Levin’s performance is so over-the-top in his spoofing of Donald Pleasence’s character. He’s especially fond of alliteration, referring to the boogeyman as “karma’s killer” and “fate’s fiend.” As a whole, this is one segment that never takes itself seriously. Halloween fans should enjoy this segment.

Special Edition and We’re So Dead

The last two segments didn’t have me laughing as hard as the first two, but they’re not exactly weak, either. “Special Segment,” directed by Jed Shepherd, the guy who wrote Host, toys with urban legends. Like that breakout film, “Special Segment” also explores technology as a conduit for evil. A group of friends is obsessed with footage that may show an actor who killed himself on set. Yes, this is like The Wizard of Oz myth about the munchkin’s suicide. But there are some serious callbacks to The Ring, too, since the ghoulish presence passes through technology. There’s a nasty body count here, but this segment isn’t given quite enough time to breathe. Its tone also feels darker than the rest of the segments, offsetting some of the humor.

The final segment, “We’re So Dead,” directed by Rachele Wiggins, kicks off with a direct reference to Stand by Me after a group of friends discovers a dead body in the woods. Reanimator is the other main influence here after the group tries to resurrect the corpse with green goop. This segment fits in well with the rest, and this is a nice closure for an anthology that’s all about horror references.

Scare Package II delights with its countless spoofs of horror classics and its love for the genre. Like the first film, the sequel plays out like one fawning letter to horror movies and those that love them. The first two segments are especially strong in their willingness to tear apart familiar tropes while having a rousing time doing it. You can hit play on this one when it lands on Shudder on Dec. 22.

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