Review: In Fear / Cert: 15 / Director: Jeremy Lovering / Screenplay: Jeremy Lovering / Starring: Alice Englert, Iain De Caestecker, Allen Leech / Release Date: March 10th
A young couple, on the way to a music festival, hop into a car for a drive around the British countryside. After getting on the wrong side of the locals in a rural pub, the pair find themselves lost in a maze of country roads, bickering with one another and, eventually, in fear for their very lives. Well, they do say that the first holiday together can make or break a couple.
With a core cast of three kids and a car, In Fear has a very limited canvas with which to present its wares. What didn’t go so well for the atrocious Five Across the Eyes played better in the creepy Wind Chill; the differences between the two revealing how little margin for error there is on such a small-scale piece.
Thankfully, we’re more in the territory of the latter here, with Iain De Caestecker continuing to impress as young Tom. He was great in the underrated and under-watched The Fades, and displays a similar level of talent here. Alice Englert is good as Lucy, especially considering that her role here doesn’t give her much more to do than scream and be confused. To be fair, she has plenty to be confused by, with car doors slamming, shadows leering from the bushes and car keys mysteriously going missing. Tom’s no help either, repeatedly taking his frustrations out on the poor girl.
The first half is strong; tense, atmospheric and remarkably creepy, it sets forth a promising premise for a homegrown low-budget British horror. Director Jeremy Lovering handles the pacing and mounting terror well, crafting an experience that could have rivalled Paranormal Activity or The Blair Witch Project, if done right. Alas, as soon as the nature of the threat is revealed, all that tension and mystery evaporates, replaced by a villain who isn’t remotely scary. It remains watchable and intelligent throughout, but struggles to recapture its earlier sense of urgency and terror.
With In Fear, an old adage is once again proved – sometimes the scariest things are best left unseen.
Extras: Commentary with Lovering, Englert, De Caestecker and Leech / Behind The Scenes Documentary / Stills Gallery / Music from and inspired by In Fear by Roly Porter / Trailer