In Fear

In Fear
Directed by Jeremy Lovering
Starring Alice Englert, Iain De Caestecker, Allen Leech

This film is terrifying!  I don’t even like horror films – why did I go see it?  As far as horror films go, the first half is very well done.  It fits in a lot of horror clichés and puts its sound design  / music score to very good use.  The first half builds up the characters’ relationship and sets up the plot and suspense to the letter.  It’s as if director Lovering watched J.J. Abrams talk about the Mystery Box and used it as a bible to create the foreboding mystery and terror of this film.

Sadly, the second half strays as the threat does not seem as ominous.  I was personally relieved as I thought I was going to have a heart attack in the first half!  But as a fan of film, I was disappointed that the tension that was so intricately crafted had been broken.  The plot and twists are still very interesting and well done, but that tension was what was keeping the audience interested.

When I saw this film at Sundance London film festival back in April, during the Q&A, director Lovering and star Alice Englert discussed how a lot of the film was improvised, with the two lead actors never having seen a copy of the script, not even knowing the fates of their own characters.  The director was so true to this realistic horror vision that he workshopped the actors for two weeks before shooting to have them know each other as well as and for as long as their character counterparts had.  Truer yet, the film was shot chronologically as to not reveal any plot twists to the actors themselves, the director always using the first take of any horror reaction performances, even when later acted takes may have been better.  The horror had to be real for him.  And it certainly was for the viewing audience!

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