What Really Frightens You – USA, 2008

‘Never tell a soul’

What Really Frightens You is a 2008 American horror feature film co-produced, written and directed by Richard W. Haines (Alien Space Avenger; Class of Nuke ‘Em High; Splatter University). The movie stars Jennifer Sorika Wolf, Postell Pringle, Ian Tomaschik and Patrick Flynne.

Plot:

The “Ghost Writer” (Ian Tomaschik) pitches an article to Ghastly Horror magazine editor Marshall McFarland (Patrick Flynne) about “What Really Frightens You?” in which he will proposes to ask New Yorkers about their deepest fears…

Reviews:

” …the film does get a few things right. The general atmosphere evoked in the film by Haines and cinematographer Tom Agnello is stand out. When the films middling plot and lack of action was losing me Agnello’s dream like candy colored high contrast photography kept me interested.” Rob Sibley, Cinema Head Cheese

“Although Haines claimed to have used latex monsters because he could not afford CGI, the practical monsters are a welcome throwback (even if they are not particularly scary) […] Tomaschik’s performance as the creepy “ghost writer” is rather one-note, the good cast is mainly hampered by cliched dialogue and a script that seems to give up on tying the three haunted characters together…” Eric Cotenas, DVD Beaver

What Really Frightens You? feels like it should be far better than it is. Its effects work and principal acting are quite good for a low-budget film… yet its overloaded and unexplained story seriously hinders the final product.” Horrorfreak News

“The monster scenes looked very hokey. But, the scenes with the actors trying to solve this dilemma worked. This movie was fun, but it took about 20 minutes to get going, and the last ten minutes of the movie, were super hokey. So, at 76 mins, you have a decent middle. The gore and blood were lame, but the script and dialog were not that bad.” James DePaolo, Horrorphilia

” …a film that has a contemporary setting yet has a decidedly retro feeling to it complete with actual latex creatures rather than the all too often utilized CGI effects of this decade. For the most part, Haines nicely intertwines the present and the past into a horror flick that is intriguing to watch even when the acting itself occasionally betrays the suspense..” The Independent Critic

“It doesn’t help that all the characters are basically the same as each other, only ever doing three things: going to work, talking about who they’re dating or would like to date, and getting sushi (usually while on a date). Perhaps Haines is trying to make some philosophical point that life is all work, sex and raw fish, but his script seems so self-unaware that I doubt it.” Cliff, Letterboxd

” …a really enjoyable piece of retro schlock which succeeds in throwing a little Don Dohler, some Troma, and a dash of EC Comics goodness into a blender to result in an uneven horror movie…” Dave Wain, The Schlock Pit

Cast and characters:

  • Jennifer Sorika Wolf … Chloe Brooks
  • Postell Pringle … Drew Evans
  • Ian Tomaschik … Ghost Writer
  • Patrick Flynne … Marshall McFarland
  • Chris Davis … Brett Andrews [as Chris Keveney]
  • Lara Green … Michelle Jenkins
  • Jane Guyer … Allison Rogers
  • Chris Riquinha … Bob Quinn
  • Lodric D. Collins … Gang Leader
  • Stan J. Adams … Gang Member
  • James Edward Shippy … Gang Member
  • Mark Doherty … Randy Tucker
  • Isabella David … Sarah Greer
  • Jon Laskin … Conrad Miller
  • Brad Mielke … Dale

Image credits: Cinema Head Cheese DVD Beaver

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