Let’s Scare Julie Image

Let’s Scare Julie

By Rob Rector | October 10, 2020

While the camera spins around the bedroom, we are introduced to the various items listed above as we wait to see what role they may play in the ensuing story. When they speak of the neighboring house and its recent young resident, they formulate an idea. Ever the pranksters, they somehow think breaking into her house and scaring her while wearing creepy Purge-like masks would be a far better welcoming gift than a cake or fruit basket.

As stated in the intro, we are not only presented with Checkov’s gun for this story but have an entire arsenal to ponder. And while some elements circle back around, Let’s Scare Julie still leaves a number of lingering leads that feel tossed aside for narrative convenience (in the courtesy of suspense-building for potential audiences, I will not specifically list them). But characters and plot points seem to vanish or reappear with little resolution.

“…the finished film obviously ‘blinks‘…”

Part of this could be its touted one-take structure. For the actors, this was surely no small feat, and all of them rose to the challenge that was surely a marathon of memorization and movement. There was not a weak link throughout, and all should be commended for their authenticity. Performances aside, though, there were several times in which the film was clearly cut, even if it was to shear away a few seconds within a scene. So while the “take” may have been continuous, the resulting film had defined edits.

Cremata stated he wanted this “unblinking eye” approach to craft suspense, but since the finished film obviously “blinks,” it felt like they could have better resolved some of its narrative threads. The single-take may have been a creative challenge, but the result feels more like a stunt than providing fuel for its story. Earlier this year, the Pierce Brothers demonstrated how a smaller budget was no obstacle for delivering supernatural shivers with The Wretched. Considering the number of things Let’s Scare Julie gets right (acting, cinematography, score), it feels that if the story was given time to breathe instead of racing to beat the battery life on the cameras, it could have effectively put its audience in a Halloween state of mind.

Let's Scare Julie (2020)

Directed and Written: Jud Cremata

Starring: Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson, Isabel May, Odessa A'zion, Jessica Sarah Flaum, etc.

Movie score: 5/10

Let's Scare Julie Image

"…not only presented with Checkov's gun for this story but have an entire arsenal to ponder."

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