03rd Mar2014

‘In Fear’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Alice Englert, Iain De Caestecker, Allen Leech | Written and Directed by Jeremy Lovering


When Tom (Iain De Caestecker) and Lucy (Alice Englert) decide to stay at a secluded hotel to celebrate their two week anniversary they find themselves on secluded country roads with only signs placed randomly around the route to take them to their destination.  As the journey drags on though and they seem to be going in circles they soon work out that somebody is playing games with them and they are lost in a labyrinth of lonely roadways.

After watching In Fear you can get a feeling that there was very little plot to In Fear and in many ways this is exactly the point.  Written almost on a daily basis the documentary behind the film shows that the writers were providing the actors with information and scripts on a daily basis.  The aim of this was to create tension between the actors and try to bring about real fear.  In many ways this sounds like a good idea and brings back memories of how movies like The Blair Witch Project and how they were created.  To create a dynamic atmosphere where real fear is created, is this not the best way to scare the audience?

In ways this does work and for some of the audience In Fear is actually quite refreshing in its style.  Anybody who has ever driven along countryside roads will know how creepy they can be, and to add tension such as issues with local thugs from a pub who could have followed them and the dependency on the signs to the hotel, there is a lot of things for the audience to ponder and dread.  Then of course there are the outside elements beyond the control of the main duo.

When Max (Allen Leech) makes his appearance inside the car where most of the action takes place we are given more information about the situation, and we learn of this at the same time as Tom and Lucy.  Most of the action in the film takes place around the car, occasionally around it but mostly inside.  The car is the safety not only for the characters themselves but also the audience.  It’s impressive that once Tom and Lucy move out of the vehicle that is when most of the tension is created and the paranoia that the danger is growing creates for a claustrophobic atmosphere, and of course the dangers of running out of petrol makes us feel that time is running out.

When looking at the performances of the actors Iain De Caestecker and Alice Englert do well to create a believable couple that we actually have some empathy for.  De Caestecker’s character may be slightly aggravating at times but this has its purpose, but as a duo both actors manage to create the tension within the car that does give the film a realistic feel.  I’d have to admit though that I was less impressed with Allen Leech as Max, but his character is one that we don’t exactly trust, so if his attempt to try and help Tom and Lucy is merely an act maybe this is why his character comes across as slightly forced and if anything slightly weak? Food for thought really.

I’d say that personally I enjoyed In Fear but I can understand why it’s one of those movies that some people love and others hate.  With what feels like a paper thin plot and a restricted amount of actual action between the characters In Fear is more about psychological terror and paranoia, if you don’t buy into the situation that the characters are in then the film will lose its effect.  The best advice to give to anybody wanting to watch the film is give it a chance and you may be surprised, I for one enjoyed it.

In Fear is released on DVD and Blu-ray March 10th.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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