In Fear (2014)
Director: Jeremy Lovering
Iain De Caestecker/Tom
A new couple (Iain De Caestecker and Alice Englert ) decide to postpone the concert they were supposed to attend to spend a night at some fancy and BEYOND secluded hotel instead. Sadly they get lost in a maze of roads, signs have them turning around in circles and evil comes a knocking! Nope, no poontang for that guy!
I decided to tap IN FEAR solely based on the fact that everybody I know that's seen it said it owned. I didn't watch the trailer, didn't research it beforehand, didn't even read the back of the damn Blu-Ray cover (which is spoiler laced BTW, avoid it, you should go in this one not knowing anything) I just popped this little horror pill in and hoped to enjoy the ride. So did I? Well yes and no.
By clocking the Making Of In Fear on the Blu-Ray after my watch I learned that they didn't have a script for the movie and that the actors had no idea what was to come or what their characters fate was. Yes they somewhat created this one in a Blair Witch Project kind way and it worked in its favor in terms of the performances and keeping me guessing for the first block. Young thespians (always wanted to use that word) Iain De Caestecker and Alice Englert were a huge reason as to why this one hit the bulls-eye on some levels. I mean most of the film was on them in a car and their showcases and chemistry together were mucho credible, while their reactions to the madness upon them totally organic. These kids were TRULY afraid and I felt for them. These love birds had me on their side from the get-go!
And the same went for the chain of event, specially the first act. I had ZERO idea as to what was going on. Were these kids being haunted? Was it rape hungry thugs messing with them? Were they dead and stuck in purgatory? I was clueless as to what the threat was. And as much as it was unnerving, I was also loving every second it. I'm usually good at second guessing a horror film and it was swell that this one kept me in the dark for a while there. The visual style appealed to me as well. Lots of bleak mood, intimate extreme close ups (I felt like I was in the car with those poor schleps) and some razor editing that spruced things up. Tag to that an unnerving score by Daniel Pemberton and Roly Porterand that upped the creepy factor of the piece and a very engaging turn by actor Allen Leech and you get a keeper right? Well, almost...
Although IN FEAR did lots of things right, it shot itself in the foot way too many times to keep a steady step. Dumb moves to serve the plot were ample here with the characters doing the wrong thing way too often; starting with not backing down on finding that hotel in the middle of nowhere. There's secluded and then there's this freaking place! Come on! I highly doubt that anybody with half a brain wouldn't turn back and find a better hotel after A- Having to follow an obviously suspicious driver to the location. B- After the second wrong turn that got them lost. Danger was blinking all over and the fact that they didn't pick up on it insulted my tiny intellect. Then there was the film's knack of being wayyyy to dark, so much so that some scares fell flat because I couldn't decipher what the f*ck was going on onscreen.
I am not sure if it was the transfer on the US Blu-Ray or the cinematography but yeah, me not seeing shit = me not giving a shit. Lastly, I was initially disappointed when the WHAT behind the horror was revealed (wasn't too hard to guess what was coming either once they dropped that first wild card) but I went with it and managed to have a good time none the less, that's until the artsy, cut too short ending kicked in and told me to shove it. As the end credits rolled, I didn't feel satisfied. Frustrated with the film though? YES.
Overall, IN FEAR was a mixed bag but I do respect what it accomplished on an obvious low budget and will keep tabs on director Jeremy Lovering from now on. He showed lots of promise. With a couple more lights to illuminate the horror scenes right, less stupid moves and an ending that took into account its audience and wanting to satisfy them, my score would have been higher! So you gonna hop on this fear train or what?
We get some blood and nasty cuts. The flick was more about tension than the red stuff.
T & A
Nobody gets lucky here. Not the dude, not the dame, not us.
IN FEAR is loved and praised by my buds and many of my peers and I can see why. It's well acted, fairly novel within the subgenre its playing in and it kept me on my toes for 40 minutes or so before taking a more generic route. Alas, the lack of common sense to serve the story, scenes that were way too somber for me to make out the action and the ending that was the equivalent of a hooker giving you a hand job and stopping 5 seconds before go-time played against it for me. I still recommend you give it a watch, because there is a charm about it. I do wish I could recommend it more though...
The film was shot in Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, England, UK.
Iain De Caestecker plays Leo Fitz on the Agents of Shield TV show.
Alice Englert also starred in Beautiful Creatures (2013).