What Happens Next Will Scare You is the latest film from Chris LaMartina and Jimmy George who also gave us the WNUF Halloween Special and Call Girl of Cthulhu among other films. It’s been taking a tour of the festival circuit and made a stop in Atlanta for this year’s edition of the Buried Alive Film Fest.
The plot, or should I say framework for What Happens Next Will Scare You is simple enough. Click Clique, a website formerly devoted to actual news has fallen into poverty and click-baiting to draw viewers. Now the word has come down from the top that staff cuts are needed, so June (Kalima Young) has assembled them a few days before Halloween the assignment is to compile a list of “The 13 Scariest Online Videos”. Those who provide the best clips will still have a job at the end of the night, Rachel (Melissa LaMartina, House Shark, Camp Killer) is the only staff member who knows the stakes. Think of it as Glengarry Glen Ross for the digital age.
However, rather than just being a collection of short “GOTCHA!” videos, What Happens Next Will Scare You takes a turn for the worse when one of the clips contains a Native American death song that actually is cursed. Then, in the vein of Dead By Midnight (11 PM Central) the horror begins to spill over into real life.
The videos themselves are a wildly divergent bunch, including a DWI arrest interrupted by Sasquatch, a multi-part story of a Vlogger who learns the hard way not to be a bitch, a child’s birthday party ruined by a poltergeist and an instructional video for performing an exorcism. They’re a mix of funny, serious, dull, and in the case of an alleged 911 call from a crematorium legitimately creepy with a darkly funny edge as the calm and professional operator tries to calm a man being attacked by the recently deceased.
Granted the mix of styles and tones is a bit jarring at times and makes the film feel a bit disjointed at times but for the most part the format works. This is especially true as What Happens Next Will Scare You goes on and the curse starts taking hold of the building’s support staff including Rooster (Paul Fahrenkopf, A Host of Sparrows, Spectres) a janitor given to telling horrible jokes and Chuck (John Bennett, Driven to Succeed, Blood Sombrero) the building’s power tripping security guard.
Despite being mostly unknown and having few credits, the only name most people will recognize is cult actor George Stover (The Alien Factor, Blood Massacre), the cast are good and have fun with the material. They play it seriously enough to keep What Happens Next Will Scare You from turning into an outright farce while maintaining the script’s humorous moments.
Effects wise What Happens Next Will Scare You runs the gamut from some practical gore and creature work including a terminal case of acne and a guy in a sasquatch costume to brief glimpses of a CGI creature when a local fishing show is crashed by The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Most importantly, LaMartina and George resisted the temptation to make the film longer to fit the number of videos shown. What Happens Next Will Scare You runs a quick seventy-two minutes and doesn’t have time to let the film’s balance of humour and scares tip too far in either direction. And given the silliness of some of the ideas let loose here, that could easily have happened.
What Happens Next Will Scare You is, as I mentioned, still playing festivals. I’m surprised it hasn’t been picked up yet as, if nothing else, it seems like a perfect addition to the lineup of Shudder or Screambox. What Happens Next Will Scare You does have a website for the film but all it has is a form to signup for updates, no actual information. Hopefully, it will turn up somewhere soon. In the meantime, FilmTagger has a few similar film suggestions to tide you over.