There has been a decent handful of great horror movies to come out of Ireland the past few years: Boy Eats Girl, Wake Wood, Shrooms, Botched, Citadel, Grabbers, Isolation, and Stitches. I am obviously a fan since the team and I have reviews three of these films already (as highlighted above). I was really excited to see In Fear because I heard great things about it and have even seen it on a few ‘top horror movies of 2014’ lists. Even though there are some great aspects of this film like the eerie atmosphere and solid acting, it falls short for me in plot.
Let me start with what I do like about the film. The low-budget vibe of the film works quite well in a setting that takes place in the middle of nowhere in dreary Ireland. Two potential lovers, Tom and Lucy, decide to take a road trip to a music festival where they will meet up with their friends. Tom plans a surprise night for a romantic getaway along the trip to a remote bed and breakfast. Their path to this elusive cottage is anything but romantic when the couple lose their way.
The chemistry between the two actors is authentic and believable, part titillating and part awkward as we watch two essential strangers get to know one another. There are only three people in the credited cast so it is necessary to have character development that is stimulating and interesting. So far so good, until Tom and Lucy get so lost that they end up driving in an endless loop of confusion, anxiety, and frustration. Everyone shows their best side at the beginning of a relationship, but stressful situations can show people’s true colors, especially when unknown tormentors come into the picture.
This is where the well-built structure of the story starts falling apart. At this point, it was hard to tell which direction the film will take. I thought this could have gone supernatural but I’m glad it didn’t. The panic of being lost is a fear that anyone can relate to, so it is good it didn’t stray too far from this natural and realistic fear. Unfortunately, the plot doesn’t go much further than this. I kept waiting for some big turning point in the plot but nothing happens. It’s kind of like Dead End (2003), minus the supernatural elements; except Dead End at least has some sort of conclusion. I wanted to like this film. It has a scary set up that has the potential to be a good film, but it kept going in circles over and over again and the outcome was as lackluster as the momentum of the film.
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