MOVIE REVIEWS

In Fear

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6/10 NR

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By John Chard January 30, 2017

The Dead End Date!

To be honest, I wasn't at all surprised to find that after viewing Jeremy Lovering's "In Fear" that the hatred for it on internet sites was large. It's that type of film, a film existing in the horror field of things that can cause mass debate, disappointments for those after a jolting or gory shocker, and yet there's also pleasures that some have found in it. If you have seen it and hate it then there's no need to read on, I got nothing for you, this is purely a review by someone who loved it and hopes that anyone who hasn't seen it may just give it a chance.

A young couple very early in their courting relationship are driving across rural Ireland to a music festival. After a fraught stop at a local public house, they continue on the journey only to get lost. As night draws in and they appear to go around in circles, they start to get menaced by person or persons unknown and unseen...

As anyone who has been in the situation will attest, getting lost in an unfamiliar countryside is no fun, especially when the night falls. "In Fear" pitches two young characters (played superbly by Iain De Caestecker & Alice Englert who are reacting naturally) into one such scenario. This is a couple who are only two weeks into their relationship, they don't really know each other do they? So when things start to get tense and scary they are naturally ill at ease with each other's company, they have no idea how to react to what is happening to them - which is continuously ambiguous.

Two people in a car in the countryside shouldn't be scary, but it is because things get tense. Things start to happen to them, simple things that suggest an outside force is at work, all while the once pretty scenery has become a menacing backdrop, with the sound work prodding away at our fretful protagonists. Then a third party enters the fray and things get even more ambiguous, but such is the stripped down nature of the pic the nail-biting tension goes up another notch.

This is not new horror cinema, in fact it's a little contrived in places, but all the fears on show here are easy to relate to. Both as regards the scary situation and as an early date experience! It's stylishly filmed by Lovering and his cinematographer David Katznelson, with tight close-ups and nifty use of the dark spaces on the country roads turning the tension screws. All of which just leaves the ending, an ending which will either infuriate or baffle you, or conversely have you nodding in admiration at the bare faced cheek of it. 9/10

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