Reviews | Written by Martin Unsworth 24/10/2020

LET’S SCARE JULIE [FrightFest Ocober 2020]


Pranks are such a laugh, aren’t they? Emma (Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson) doesn’t think so when she’s scared witless while staying at her cousin’s house. Taylor (Isabel May) is all apologetic but her friends are keen to keep the giggles going. Taylor tells them about a girl who lives in the house opposite who’s a recluse; she’s only seen her once on the porch with something over her face. The cackling friends can only think of one thing: let’s prank the freak. Leaving Emma and her sister Lilly (Dakota Barcelli), the girls go across the road wearing their neon-flashing spook masks. But who will come back?

Jud Cremata’s debut feature is a dizzying earache of a film. Mainly due to the fact the girls have a tendency to talk over each other, and the whole movie was filmed in one take (give or take the odd cutaway). The pros of this approach are a very naturalistic feel, which heightens the tension at points, but the cons are the nauseous feeling caused by following Emma around the mostly dimly-lit house. The girls are all do well on the acting stakes - Johnson and Barcelli particularly stand out - but the characters are just not likeable. We don’t care if they get slain in the creepy house, in fact, we’d totally love it if they were.

In between all the screaming is a decent urban legend story, and once we’re left with just Emma, things do get pretty creepy. It’s a shame, though, that Cremata doesn’t have a better payoff nor answers for the numerous questions you’ll ask once it’s over.

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