DVD/Film Review – In Fear

In Fear is out on DVD on Monday – here’s the film review by Bill Gordon…
“‘In Fear’ is an astute analysis of human fear”
How refreshing it is to have a horror that isn’t a remake, a haunted house story or a slasher this year.  Don’t get me wrong, I love those other sub-genres, but it’s nice to have another decent British horror that projects the horrors that could happen in the country side.  Jeremy Lovering directs the story of Lucy (Alice Englert –Beautiful Creatures, Ginger & Rosa) and Tom (Iain De Caestecker – Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D).  Having met two weeks before hand, Lucy and Tom drive to a music festival, with plans to stay at a hotel.  With the signs to the hotel leading them in circles, they eventually become lost in a maze of country roads, victims to an unknown tormentor.  And so begins their fight for survival. 

What really stood out about ‘In Fear’ from the get go was Jeremy Lovering talking about the film having no script.  Each actor had no idea where the story was going, what their characters fate was and when something scary was going to happen.  This resulted in the film being mainly improvised; whenever you see fear in a characters eyes it is real.  Depending on the actor(s), an improvised script can develop into awkward interactions between characters, with a sense of no direction.  Luckily Alice Englert and Iain De Caestecker are an extremely talented duo with obvious chemistry, kicking away any awkwardness and turning it into genuine (and sometimes comedic) banter that feels as real as it gets.  Alice Englert’s performance stands out; her real fear shines through perfectly, adding to the terrifying atmosphere of the film.  Her character is fuelled by paranoia, fear and emotional rage, you can’t help but see it all through her eyes and it is terrifying. 

‘In Fear’ doesn’t like to let your mentality rest, with a lot of shots based around the dashboard of the car looking out at the road.  It’s hard not to be gripping the arm rest of your seat tightly as they drive round the corners of the country roads, unsure of what will be round the next one.  It plays its scares effectively, very brief and sudden, causing you to share a sudden shock of intense fear with the characters until it stops and you’re left breathless and scared to go on.  ‘In Fear’ starts off being probably the most terrifying film you will experience this year, before evolving into something else completely with different intentions, yet still enough thrilling moments, unnerving imagery and inventive ideas to keep you on your toes and crying for mercy.  Eventually, along with the characters, you start to feel tired of this maze they’re stuck in, but before you can feel any sense of boredom Jeremy Lovering throws more hair-raising scenarios your way.  A hauntingly eerie and experimental musical score reinforces the scares, with the volume rising alongside any scenes of intensity, there’s no escape from the horribly deafening score and you feel caught in this moment of sheer terror with no way out. 

Although sometimes you may feel a few similarities to Eden Lake or Wolf Creek, ‘In Fear’ is an astute analysis of human fear; displaying the result it can have on the human psyche.  It’s a claustrophobic nightmare, effectively keeping the scares fresh with its limited location.  If you’ve ever had to drive down those long windy roads in the middle of nowhere, your fears will be projected into ‘In Fear’ making you think twice about ever driving down those roads again.  Not once do you feel safe, the dark grainy imagery and the isolated location suffocates you in this viscous game of cat and mouse, as you follow their journey through this eternal maze of insanity.  It’s extremely reassuring that there are directors out there that still know how to successfully create a horror film without any excessive violence and gore.  Lovering executes the film with a powerful and an emotional kick that leaves you drained of your energy after an intensely gripping and hair-raising trip into hell.  I’ve always said that there is nothing scarier than your imagination, however, there is one thing that is extremely close; humans.

Follow Bill on Twitter: @2FlashGordon7

In Fear is available from Amazon

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