Scared Stiff is a horror film directed by Richard Friedman. The plot sees the spirit of a slave owner posses a man in modern times. The spirit then forces the man to try and kill his family.
This film could have been incredibly generic if not for the 80’s charm of the effects and the storytelling. Said charm makes this film hilarious, yes it is not scary in any way but it is funny and that counts for something; at least for me.
I thought the flashbacks were actually quite eerie and unsettling, the opening scene where the slave master murders all of those defenceless slaves is harrowing and it gives the film a very solid horror opening.
The mythology of the mask is quite convoluted and seems to change around as the film goes on, I gave up trying to understand the plot somewhere around the 50-minute mark. After that point it just became a wild ride of odd effects and character moments, which aren’t as bad as you might expect.
Overall, if you want a horror film this is not it. If you want a hilariously 80s horror comedy film that will make you laugh, albeit unintentionally, then this is the film for you.
The 80s aesthetic and effects
The campy charm
It has a strong opening
It is not scary
The story doesn’t make sense
It wastes the mythology it tries so hard to create
Reviewed by Luke