9 Mar 2014

Review - In Fear (2013)

If You go Down to the Woods Today...

Director: Jeremy Lovering
Writer: Jeremy Lovering
Stars: Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, Allen Leech
Running Time: 85 mins
Sub-Genre: Thriller
Release: November 2013 (UK) March (US)

Tom and Lucy are both happy young adults eager to set out on their first weekend getaway as a couple. They set off for a planned stay at a remote hotel but quickly find themselves getting lost in a maze of backwoods roads. However they soon discover that they are at the mercies of an unknown tormentor that is eager to take advantage of their vulnerability and distance from civilization.

We movie fans, especially those with a particular taste in horrors have seen their fair share of forest horror's, you know the ones were silly folk are alone in the dark foreboding forest with no signal and a killer on their tail? Well In Fear is just like that, only instead of adapting itself to the format of the likes of Shrooms, it instead captures the the subtle fear and terror that radiates from such films like Eden Lake and in some cases Wolf Creek. In Fear may not compare to the terror established with such films, but it does stand proudly beside it, nodding to it's tropes whilst expressing itself with something from beyond the traditional format that accompanies that type of sub-genre. 

Lovering isn't trying to create something that reflects on the genre, in fact that's exactly it, hence the reason why you either love it or hate it. I, nor hated it nor loved it, but found it to be something with effective values. Perhaps not entirely effective but still enough to make me fear the outdoors and Ireland (*cough* Even though that's where I live... awkward *cough*). Thumbs up for Lovering for being able to craft the film in such a fashion that the surrounding almost become the threat, the claustrophobia is only part of the effect, but the relentless and grueling terror. The films makes full use of its talented cast as well as its minimalism which taps into early 70's horror's. Just pure and simply scary without any gimmicks or distractions.

Trying to drag out the films premise to 80 minutes becomes apparent, and much of the material becomes tedious, but that is to be expected with a film with a daring approach as this. The expectation that people may find it "boring" and that "nothing happens" is something that comes along with a horror film of this style, but it isn't hard to appreciate just how atmospheric and scary In Fear really is; I mean it's scary. A lot of today's audience relay too much on the supernatural adaptions in the horror genre as that is where the scares are, and you only have to look at the amount of money each and every one of them make to know that the sub-genre isn't going anywhere, but then again if it isn't broke don't fix it; but it's films like this that restores your faith in the horror genre, and proves that they can still be original and can still be scary with a lack of supernatural entities. In Fear isn't a defining genre moment or anything, but for what it is, it's pretty damn impressive.

In Fear is a clear vision of something that works with thin narrative and little actual horror. It may not work on all aspects, and I wouldn't exactly call it a "great flick", but it does install fear, and with a title like that i'm kind of getting the impression that's what it wants to do, and it succeeds.

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