Scream for Help is something of a strange beast. It starts out with a pretty shocking statement from Christie, the lead character about how her stepfather is trying to kill her and her mother and yet it plays out as just another day in the life kind of deal. The music is calm and the scene plays out almost wistful, like a television drama from two decades previous. That also sucks out most of the mystery from the film if that is indeed what the filmmakers were going for and while eventually it does start to become suspenseful, it is so at odds with itself over what it wants to be exactly, that you cannot help but laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Many of the scenes throughout the picture play out like the one mentioned above. Christie discovers her stepfather is having an affair, the tension ratchets up a a few notches and then they end up at home playing the happy family. Accompanied her best friend, they discover her stepfather at a motel later on, he sees them and they take off on the run. The friend is killed by a car (her stepfather supposedly), and then Christie ends up at home with dear old dad and once again, and making nice like nothing ever happened. From there it just gets worse until finally, the last act of the picture plays out like a home invasion thriller and it ends on a much stronger note than when it first began. The problem with it all is that the first two thirds of the film were ridiculous. It also did not help any that the score for the movie was for the most part, lackadaisical. If you want to create suspense in a film, a proper film score goes a long way in helping to do that.
Adding to all of this was the very poor characterization of Christie as played by Rachael Kelly. You simply did not care for her or get invested in her whatsoever. Nobody would act the way that she did for the first part of the film, especially if you believed you were truly living with a killer, nor would anyone write down your thoughts in a journal where said killer could find it at any time. To compound it all, there was a moment where she decided to sleep with her dead, pregnant best friend’s boyfriend which was pure insanity during which she was interrupted by her stepfather in one of the most awkward scenes in the history of cinema. It was terrible to the utmost in more than one respect and yet laughable as well.
The home invasion angle was played well, with some decent violence and a couple of good killings, but in the end, it was not nearly enough to save this film from being completely ludicrous. Strangely enough, there is something about this disaster that is oddly appealing, perhaps because like any disaster, you have to watch it to see what happens even though you know nothing good is going to take place.
2.5 out of 5