In Fear had a decent concept but with one character who not only makes illogical decisions but is downright unlikeable and a “twist” that is revealed halfway through, the movie flounders until the very end and a message that feels tact on though I understand what the writer/director was after.
Anchor Bay | R – 85 min. – $29.99 | March 11, 2014
THE MOVIE – 2.5/5
CAUTION! This review contains SPOILERS. Readers beware.
Plot Outline: When young couple Tom (IAIN DE CAESTECKER) and Lucy (ALICE ENGLERT) lose their way while driving to a remote hotel for a one-night romance before attending a music concert with friends, they find themselves trapped in a maze of back-roads with only their vehicle for protection, terrorized by an unseen tormentor hell-bent on exploiting their worst nightmares. Driving, lost and tormented in the night, primal anxieties of the dark and the unknown take hold as the couple realizes that they may have to let the evil in, or that it is already there.
Quick Hit Review: What starts out as a decent indie thriller turns into an utterly preposterous film where a singular villain manages to do so many things in a span of seconds and sometimes manages to teleport himself to different areas such as, in a key part of his plans, switching around signs to confuse the couple. While he might be familiar with the area, how he’s able to do so is at best confounding and no doubt a conceit by the screenwriter in order to keep up the suspense, logic be damned.
The acting also is an issue. I didn’t have a problem with Alice Engert as she is likeable enough but Iain De Caestecker as the boyfriend is an utter douche and really tough to care one iota what happened to the guy. First off, he’s a poor planner doing no research on the hotel, how to get there (save for following a truck, whose driver he doesn’t bother speaking to beforehand) and his actions afterward where rather than calling it quits and going to the concert, he continues onward and forward to get a piece of tail from a girl he’s been dating no less than two weeks. I understand there’s a certain member that’s controlling his brain functions but seriously, I’m sure she’ll be willing a day or two later. Basically, he’s a tool not deserving the torment, but man I couldn’t stand the guy.
Written and directed by Jeremy Lovering – who most recently helmed the “Sherlock Episode”, ‘The Empty Hearse’ – In Fear had a decent idea that could’ve been terrifying claustrophobic despite being in the open air but what turns from suspense and thrills was replaced by a twist that makes absolutely no sense and illogical considering the happenings early on, and even later. Still, Alice Engert, who starred in Beautiful Creatures, was at least a likeable character so there is that.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.25/5
The only item on here is a standard In Fear: Behind the Scenes (12:50; HD) featurette with interviews by the cast and crew.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Considering this was probably shot on a shoe-string budget, and mostly in the dark, the transfer doesn’t look terrible with good detail levels and during the daytime scenes colors, albeit moving more towards warmer tones, seem well balanced. The only drawback is that some of the night shots are grayer and not quite as stark compared with other shots. Even so, it’s a nice transfer.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track was actually fairly impressive providing good dialogue levels while the sound effects are nicely balanced through each of the five channels. But what took this over the top was the strong LFE channel which really gave this track an extra boost.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, In Fear had a decent concept but with one character who not only makes illogical decisions but is downright unlikeable and a “twist” that is revealed halfway through, the movie flounders until the very end and a message that feels tact on though I understand what the writer/director was after. The Blu-ray offers good video/audio transfers while the solo featurette is pretty basic.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.