ALICE ENGLERT IAIN DE CAESTECKER ALLEN LEECH
In Fear preys on the notion that most of us lose when we enter adulthood: the fear of being lost. As a child we had that fear of separation, getting lost in a department store, unable to find our way back to our parents. That same childhood fear is applied to the screenplay In Fear, directed by Jeremy Lovering. Low budget, two actors, one car, the premise doesn’t ask a lot of its audience, and the entire movie is made up of a few minutes of driving, stopping, arguing, being terrified and then repeat. It does, however, depend on the audience being willing to suspend belief long enough that GPS, cell phones, no other people on the highway all work to their disadvantage in keeping them lost for the duration of the picture.
Tom (Caestecker) and Lucy (Englert) are driving through a lesser populated town of Ireland when they stop at a nearby pub. Tom has some trouble with the locals and Lucy with the bar attendant. Tom reveals that he has reserved a hotel for the night, much to Lucy’s surprise due to the fact they only met two weeks ago. She agrees to the romantic endeavor and they follow a guide to the secluded hotel. The signs pointing this way and that way just lead them driving in circles until night falls, they are nearly out of gas and Lucy begins seeing strange figures. Completely lost with no sense of where they are, the couple begin to understand that the events of the pub might have something to do with their current situation.
In Fear is the type of horror/suspense/thriller where the audience will instinctively be thinking what they would do differently. Once the couple is immersed in terror, out of gas and nearing hopelessness, they break out the alcohol and start drinking--because that will solve their problems? The film succeeds by creating generalized fear in being lost in a foreign location without the ability to re-correct. The added element of someone out to get them is where the horror element comes to play, but like most horror films we never get a true motive even though one is implied.
For a film that has the premise of going around in circles and never getting anywhere, the audience will likely feel the same way. There comes a breaking point for the characters and the audience where we just want something to happen, either die or fight to survive. Most horror films that have a female in the lead, and that’s arguable here, conclude with the female character overcoming whatever fear(s) they have portrayed in the film. In Fear is so lacking in character development and overall plot exploration that I am not sure what to think of the ending or the events leading up to it. In Fear, upon reflection, feels more like adulthood bullying and torture.
Final Thought – Manages a few scary moments on a circular plot.
By: Dustin Chase