Review: What Really Frightens You? (2009)

by Aaron Vaccaro – Head Writer

Best Bad Quote:

“A little trick I learned in the hood.


Many people think that horror films are the easiest movies to make.  All you need is some fake blood, horny teenagers, and a couple of good scares and you got yourself a horror movie.  That may be the case, but you need more than that to make a good horror movie.  What Really Frightens You? is an example of a not so good horror movie.  In fact, What Really Frightens You? is kind of a lazy mess.  The writing is bad, the acting is worse, and the only thing this movie has going for it is its half decent creature FX.


What Really Frightens You? was written and directed by Richard W. Haines (Class of Nuke Em High, Splatter University) and tells the story of a mysterious writer working for a monster fanzine who asks three New Yorkers what really scares them.  There’s Drew Evans, the African American lawyer who fears the gang members from his old “hood” coming after him (how stereotypical), Brett Andrews, the computer programmer who is frightened by the possibility of monsters under his bed (how original), and Chloe Brooks, who is frightened of being caught in her underwear and then having horny guys tear her clothes off in a strip club (how…complicated).  After the article is published the primal fears of each interviewee come true. Will they be frightened to death?


I don’t want to say I had high hopes when I was sent this DVD to review, but with two of my favorite Troma movies in his repotoire, I definitely expected a helluva lot more from Haines than what I got.  First off, there’s our illustrious “Ghost Whiter” character.  Ian Tomaschik, who plays the “Ghost Writer” may be one of the worst actors I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen my fair share of crappy actors.  He looks so uncomfortable in every line reading, like he just memorized the lines thirty seconds before the director yelled action.  Then at other moments he just seems checked out, which I don’t really blame him for.  The rest of the acting in the film in almost unwatchable with the exception of Postell Pringle who plays Drew Evans.  Pringle actually has some chops, and had the script not felt like it was written by a four year old,  complete with every African American cliche in the book, Pringle’s performance might actually be considered noteworthy.  To add insult to injury, whoever composed this musical score has clearly never watched a horror movie in their life.


All I can say is, thank god this movie is only seventy four minutes long, because had it been any longer,  I might have had to frighten myself to death to make it all end.  I always like to try and support independent horror films, but What Really Frightens You? doesn’t make enough of an effort for me to give it the benefit of the doubt.  I’ve seen better makeup jobs at an elementary school Halloween carnival.


As soon as the credits started rolling all I could ask myself was, “What the fuck was that?”  Some gargoyle comes out of nowhere to attack our hero and they smash to black, THE END?  They don’t even connect the ending to the beginning of the movie that made no sense to begin with.  This movie really kind of pissed me off, because as a writer myself, I pride myself on at least having some semblance of plot and character development, and this had none of that, and just felt like the filmmaker just gave up, accepting how bad his own film was.  It was like he said, “I’ll make a shitty horror movie, cause no matter how shitty, horror movies always make money.”  Well, you succeeded on making a shitty horror movie…whether the making money aspect follows…I wouldn’t hold your breath.  And seriously?  You couldn’t even cast a hot Asian girl to run around in her underwear?! Come on!



0 out of 5 Any Aspects of this Movie


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2 Responses to “Review: What Really Frightens You? (2009)”

  1. X says:

    Asian girls are hard to find.
    The only time I’ve had an Asian girl running around in her underwear was when she tried to escape.

  2. Wow. Your first zero? That kind of makes me want to see it.

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