REVIEW: Super Scary Film Club (For Kids), Burn Bright Theatre (VAULT Festival)

Our final show of VAULT Festival (and, as it turned out, probably the last show we are going to see for quite some time) was Super Scary Film Club (For Kids). Sadly it was also only a sub-set of the full Family Stage gang who attended, with cowardly Crotchet deciding to stay safely at home with Mrs Mummy (who is not allowed to see scary things after accidentally punching an actor in the face at Halloween Horror Nights in Universal Studios, Florida).

Suitable for all ages, Super Scary Film Club (For Kids) is a family-friendly celebration of the adolescent tradition of binge-watching scary films with your sleep-deprived, sugar-filled friends. Written by Maxwell Tyler, it features songs, sketches and silliness parodying the best that horror has to offer. But it’s not just a series of sketches. It’s a well structured, brilliantly paced show that tells a story of its own.

It’s the inaugural annual meeting of the Super Scary Film Club and we’re all invited. Just as long as we know the password and don’t allow any boring grown-ups in. Layla is the President and Mikey is in charge of snacks and films, although he’s delegated the latter to older cousin, Noah, who turns up with an old cardboard box of VHS tapes that he apparently dug up somewhere. After stuffing themselves (and the audience) full of popcorn, they take it in turns to select a film from the box. Not that it really matters which they pick, as they’re going to watch the lot before sunrise anyway – Even the boring old ones. Fuelled by sweets and fizzy orange, they watch their way through everything from cult classics to modern slashers. Unimpressed by old school horror, desperate for more blood and guts (but less kissing and cuddling, which is all vampires seem to do), they eventually get to the final film in the box. But are they bold enough to brave The Exorcist?

The company of Super Scary Film Club (For Kids).

It’s hilarious throughout and is pitched perfectly to appeal to all ages, even if you haven’t seen many (or in Quaver’s case, any) of the films. Particular highlights include a toilet-brush wielding Norman Bates, a Dracula dance spectacular and an entertaining take on The Babadook that features everyone’s favourite internet earworm, Baby Shark! It’s very cleverly done, managing to turn wholly age-inappropriate films into suitable viewing for primary school children, without losing the appeal for the many adults in the audience. There are some effective elements of audience participation (particularly the popcorn, which is Quaver’s favourite thing about films) which help to immerse the audience in the story. It’s not too scary, although there are some dark moments and use of strobe lighting. And in any case, the first rule of Super Scary Film Club is that it’s ok to be scared. Even if what scares you is penguins….

All in all, Super Scary Film Club (For Kids) is a fun show that will appeal to anyone who is a fan of scary movies but is universally entertaining and can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. An hour of spooky silliness and songs which – like any good horror – has a brilliant twist at the end!

RATING: Raindrops, Whiskers, Kettles & Mittens (aka 4 out of 5 of my favourite things)

Super Scary Film Club (For Kids) played at VAULT Festival on 15 March 2020. (It was due to play on 22 March too but was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis). We received complimentary press tickets.