In Fear. Film Review

image002IN FEAR
Director: Jeremy Lovering
Story: Jeremy Lovering
Starring: Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, Allen Leach
Running Time: 82 Mins
Certificate: 15
Format: DVD/Blu-ray
Release Date: 10/03/14
Reviewed by Guy Adams

Tom (De Caestecker) and Lucy (Englert) only met a couple of weeks ago, but they’ve decided to go to Ireland for a music festival. In an attempt at romance, Tom has booked them a room in a secluded hotel for the night before the festival starts. As the signs to the hotel begin to lead them in circles and night falls on the confined, twisting road, it becomes clear that they’re not alone.

IN FEAR is Lovering’s first feature film and it’s a wonderful piece of work. Tight, clever and brilliantly suspenseful. It builds tension with honourable precision. Making an audience jump is easy, you simply throw something unexpected at the screen, making them feel uncomfortable takes skill and Lovering is skilled indeed.

While the story is Lovering’s, the script is largely improvised and the tiny cast do an excellent job. Tom and Lucy are utterly believable. Tom is desperate to remain in control of their situation — or at least to be perceived as being in control, an entirely different thing — while Lucy is biting down the terror and wishing Tom would just be straight with her. Their interaction is a major strength of the movie, as they swing from happiness to distrust to fear. At one point Lucy is asked to choose which of them should die, her response is just one of many moments that give IN FEAR it’s undeniable teeth.

While it’s received a fairly uniform set of glowing reviews there has been some criticism over its ending, which avoids neatly tying everything up in satisfying, logical knots. The criticism is misplaced. IN FEAR isn’t about plot mathematics, it’s a film you feel. A brilliant, perfect, cinema nightmare.

Unquestionably, one of the best horror movies I’ve seen for some time.

Special features include an audio commentary with cast and director, a behind the scenes documentary and music from Roly Porter’s excellent soundtrack.