has definitely seen “The Shining
,” likely more than once, and probably took notes at least half of the time. Having boned up on his horror classics, the actor-turned-writer-director gleefully kills more than a few of those darlings in his clever feature debut, “Scare Me
.” Bolstered by a creative storytelling set-up, Ruben and his very game co-star Aya Cash
skewer horror tropes as well as cultural obsessions ranging from TV talent shows to the Bechdel Test.
The result is — perhaps too much. With a padded running time that clocks in at nearly 105 minutes, the film seems like the perfect pick for a snappy, scary 90-minute event. Initially imagining writer’s block and creative stultification as man’s greatest horrors (see: “The Shining
”) before moving into a deeper exploration of the trauma of gender relations, “Scare Me
” packs ambitious ideas inside a small-scale concept.
Fred is a writer/director/sometimes