28 Sep 2013

'Nothing Left to Fear' Review

Director: Anthony Leonardi III
Writer: Jonathan W.C. Mills
Stars: Clancy Brown, Anne Heche, Jennifer Stone
Running Time: 96 mins
Sub-Genre: Supernatural, Religious
Release: September 2013

Nothing Left to Fear is the tale of a family whose journey towards a better life in a small town is savagely derailed by a charismatic but emotionally conflicted man of the cloth. The movie is based on the actual town of Stull, Kansas, which is surrounded by Internet folklore proclaiming the town to be one of the seven gateways to Hell.

Slasher Films, the first film involved by Rock legend Slash released Nothing Left to Fear, a film I had no view towards, no hopes, no negative thoughts, I just went into this with no expectations, expect of course for it to be scary or at least scary. Nothing Left to Fear had me on the fence, with whether or not I actually enjoyed this film, and with understanding what it was I was actually watching. A strange film really, for both the bad and good, but what I can say is that I will not be visiting Nothing Left to Fear anytime soon, or ever.

Nothing Left to Fear may be the first of many from Slash, but if only this was as well constructed and consistent as his work with music then I would be looking forward to what he has to deliver in the future, unfortunately it wasn't so i'm not. Was it bad? Not necessarily  but it wasn't exactly good either, presented in such a drab fashion and delivered in the slowest of paces, it takes a while to get into the groove of things, and by the time you find your comfort spot with the movie, making room for some good old horror, it shortly comes to an end, leaving no time to deliver suspenseful horror that the film desperately needed. Waiting for an hour for something to happen becomes tiresome very quickly, so sitting around waiting becomes extremely tedious and very dreary, unfortunately the story isn't fascinating enough to make the final act worth the wait.

Some visually impressive moments mixed with it's final act makes this film worth a look, and the deep and dark religious tone adds a mass sense of uncomfort when things get rolling, but it just takes too long to keep us engaged when the maximum of horror within the first hour is nightmares that last at the most 3 minutes, all a little to unappealing really. Through the narrowing unravel of the story lies a fresh take on the horror genre, though the direction doesn't quite fully do justice to the writing, so you are left watching a slightly inept take on something that had the potential to be brilliant in the hands of the right director; Leonardi didn't do a bad job, but he didn't do a great one either.

Not as scary as it had the potential to be, Nothing Left to Fear relays too much on the look and not on the display to invoke scares, so you are left with a creepy, slightly tense horror that despite its lack of hype doesn't live up to what it could have been. Although it isn't exactly "good", it is still shrouded in some effective mystery that is enough to make the first act watchable, not good but watchable. The cast (apart from Ethan Peck who is absolutely horrendous as Noah), mostly Clancy Brown does a pretty good job at delivering a well and effectively acted horror, and by horror standards the acting is well above the average. The characters are relatable and the development is strong, so when they are picked off one by one we actually care which these days is rare to find in a horror movie. The only real great element of the film which was the story could not be pulled off with success, so what you get is an inept entry into the horror genre.

VERDICT: Nothing Left to Fear may be too ambitious for Slash as it's pulled off with major flaws, and aside from a chilling mood and some deeply creepy visuals, it doesn't quite overcome it drab middle act and its extremely muddled plot.

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