What Happens Next Will Scare You
what happens next will scare you | chris lamartina | jimmy george | melissa lamartina | rachel d. wilson | kalima young | anthology | nightmares film festival | nff | better horror | comedy | united states | clown | monster | monsters | creature | creatures
Film: What Happens Next Will Scare You
Director: Chris LaMartina
Writer: Jimmy George and Chris LaMartina
Starring: Melissa LaMartina, Rachel D. Wilson and Kalima Young
This is another film that I got the chance to see thanks to the Nightmares Film Festival. For here, this was listed in the horror/comedy section so I was intrigued to see how they would mesh. As you know though, horror/comedies can definitely be hit or miss for me. This was the world premiere for the movie so that was cool as well. The synopsis here is staying late in their office on a Friday night, a motley crew of click-bait article authors are tasked with finding the thirteen scariest online videos in prep for a Halloween article. The problem then becomes are what they’re seeing real?
To keep with the theme of the movie, we’re getting YouTube video names and clips with the credits. It then gives us one of those scare videos that we’ve seen over the years. We are at a struggling website that might have to let some people go. June (Kalima Young) is the manager and for the most part, we’re following Rachel Silver (Melissa LaMartina). We get an interesting interaction with her partner Rose (Evangeline Ridaway) about asking for a raise. That is pretty much out of the question when we see the interaction between June and Rachel.
The other staying late are an intern of Myra (Rachel D. Wilson), Vanessa (Kathy Carson) who is quirky woman wearing a beanie, Lester (Troy Jennings) who does a lot of music review for the site and Eugene Wiley (Johnny Marra). He’s a weird character with some odd tastes for sure. There is also Chuck (John Bennett) and a janitor there that night as well.
June calls Rachel, Vanessa, Eugene and Lester into the conference room as they go through videos to look for 13 to fit what they need. Rachel leads off with a video she said she watched on a show growing up. It is titled ‘Ghost Ruins Birthday Party’ and by today’s standards, it is pretty tame. Eugene follows it up with ‘Police Dash Cam Captures Bigfoot!’ He thinks that it could be real, but he’s also shot down quickly. Vanessa brings a slow burn, over 4 videos of what happens to Vera (Maddie Howard) through her ‘Vera’s Very Very Vlog’. What really becomes a problem for them is what Lester shows.
He created a video of a cursed, Native American song on vinyl and put it up on YouTube. When he plays it, it is unnerving for all those involved and the videos they’ve already seen and those they see after might be coming to life. This includes a serial killer who had a viral dating video by the name of Mr. Tickles (Mike C. Walls) and a cursed stuffed bear.
Now that’s where I want to leave my recap as that gets you up to speed with the story. What I do have to say though is I love the idea that we’re using here. I don’t know how many times my friends and I would go down rabbit holes to watch just some of the really weird videos that are on YouTube. Heck, I’ve started to show some of them to Jaime and she has ones I’ve never heard of. The internet really is a wealth of just some things that people put out there.
I think that the writers/director of Chris LaMartina and Jimmy George do well with this concept. We’ve all probably fallen victims to these click bait articles and lists. It is even more interesting to see it from the other side where we are seeing the people trying to put it together. They even did a good job of Rachel alluding to the fact that this site at one time did real news reporting. They got pulled into this type of articles make more money and it really is a good social commentary on the state of our society as well.
To what gets us to the horror as well, I’m glad that they didn’t jump right into the ‘curse’. We get a couple videos before that one comes up and I think that is effective. On top of that, I really get to know the characters through the videos they show. Rachel seems like the one who is more mainstream and you’d find the videos she puts up for review. They aren’t the creepiest and it feels like someone not going deep enough. Then you have Eugene who is going too deep with some of the more obscure. He’s would be hard to put on there. Lester is into music so most of his just deal with music and sounds. His telephone call one for ‘Funeral Home Invasion 911 Call’ was really creepy. Vanessa then seems like a hipster with her ‘slow-burn’ videos following what happens to Vera.
What doesn’t necessarily work for me is that the movie just doesn’t fully come together. Many of the videos we see didn’t really intrigue me all of that much and it feels like they needed to do too much in order to introduce them. There isn’t as much as comedy as I was expecting. I would be interested to hear from someone else who watches this to see if that aspect worked for them. I think I may have chuckled a couple of times, but that would be it.
Since I’ve dove into the characters, let’s shift this over to the acting. LaMartina as Rachel was good. Wilson is solid as this intern who wants to make a name for herself. What I like here is that she’s not involved in the meeting so she’s seeing spooky stuff earlier and driving us to that situation. Young is solid as the stern manager. Carson is fits her character’s quirky nature as does Marra. I also liked Jennings in his snobby type role. The rest of the cast really does round this out and I give credit to the different types of roles/performances we get for all of the videos. They all don’t work for me, but I thought they fit the videos.
The last thing to go over would be effects. For the most part, I was glad to see that they went practical with as much as they could. There’s a Sasquatch (Greg Bowen) that looked real enough. We also get another monster later in the movie, played by Erin Reid, which was gross looking. It is strategic that one is a clown and he looked good. There was a slight issue with a nose biting scene where you can tell the nose is still there with just some gore put over top. There is also some CGI with a possessed stuff bear and a lake monster that doesn’t always look great. This isn’t enough to ruin the movie though. I also thought the cinematography was well done, especially with making some of these videos look older. That was effective without going too far.
The last thing to go over would be the soundtrack. I love the creepiness of the Native American ritual that is what brings the curse. That was well done. Aside from that, we do get some sound design like animal noises outside of doors or some of the things that Mr. Tickles does was effective here as well. Overall I’d say this was used pretty effectively.
So now with that said this is an interesting movie for sure. I think the basic concept is one that fits in with what we see today and I like what they do to make this go horror. The selection of videos really does help to get to know the characters that selected them even better and the acting fit for these performances. I’d say the effects on the whole were good along with the sound design. If did I have any issues, I don’t know if everything came together as well as it could, so it feels a bit uneven and some of the CGI doesn’t work either. Aside from that, I still thought this was an above average movie overall.
My Rating: 6.5 out of 10