Driving, lost and tormented in the night, primal fears of the dark and the unknown give way to fear that you have let the evil in, or that it is already there.
See more films
★★★½ review by John (Magic Rat Movies) on Letterboxd
In Fear expertly employs distress and disorientation to great effect. It's basically a two hander about a young couple on their way to a music festival becoming lost and increasingly confused and paranoid in the remote Irish countryside. Certainly for the first hour or so, this is a suitably chilling rural nightmare with a nice line in sweaty-palmed anxiety and barely suppressed panic, gathering an escalating sense of dread and despair. Unfortunately, it falls apart somewhat in the final third when it resorts to type and succumbs to traditional horror/backwoods tropes, but the build-up is particularly well done. Director Jeremy Lovering utilising improvised scare tactics to keep his actors on edge, really makes the most of simple primal fears of being alone and abandoned in the dark, the power of suggestion and insidious imagination proving far more frightening than the more formulaic finale. A promising debut.
★★★★ review by Ruslan Mavrodinov on Letterboxd
Employing typical horror-movie tropes and fresh ideas, In Fear’s deftly crafted blend of claustrophobic paranoia and agonizing anxiety makes it the most gripping, tense and atmospheric indie horror-thriller in years.
★★★★ review by Logan Jones on Letterboxd
Jeremy Lovering evokes the memory of the folk-horror films like Kill List and classic 70's thrillers like Straw Dogs with his twisty debut feature. A psychological horror with a relatively simple premise that becomes so much more as the film progresses, we start with newly acquainted couple Tom (Iain De Caestecker) and Lucy (Alice Englert, much better here than in Beautiful Creatures) on their way to a music festival. But Tom has booked a hotel for the first night, so after meeting some of the peculiar locals, they make their way there. However, it soon becomes apparent that the signs leading them to the hotel are, in fact, leading them in circles. As the petrol runs out and the sun sets, tensions begin to rise. Soon they are lost in the cold, dark woods - but not necessarily alone.
Lovering and cinematographer David Katznelson use light and dark almost as characters. They are two very important aspects to the story and the characters' fear, and they are played with superbly. As in Monsters, Inc. (an unlikely comparison, perhaps, but a relevant one) it's not the dark itself that is scary, but what might be watching from it. The car tears down narrow lanes as if escaping down a narrow tunnel, with no visible end in sight.
The performances are wonderful too, particularly from Alice Englert. The use of improvisation helps to create a sense of authenticity, even if some of the dialogue is a bit clunky. Furthermore, not all of the jump scares hit the right places - it seems that Lovering is much better at slowly building a sense of dread and the results are creepingly suspenseful.
All in all, an underrated and underseen gem of a horror film with a brilliantly atmospheric score by Roly Porter and Daniel Pemberton, certain to get your heart racing as you watch characters that - crucially - you like from behind a clutched cushion.
★★★★★ review by Guillermo Bosque on Letterboxd
Summary: In Fear is a horrendously underrated horror film that deserves more recognition for its superb performances and cleverly disturbing moments. 100/100 [A+]
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. I hate to give perfect ratings, I'm not lying, check out my user profile. This astonishing film deserves it. Such a disturbing ride! In Fear is awesome because most of the shocking scenes came from just inside of a car.
It is a very well done low-budget film, that doesn't even look like a low-budget flick. In Fear proves that horror films don't need a big cast or an expensive budget, they just need the right director, a talented cast, and a smart script. It is a slow ride, but it kept me entertained and interested all time. The characters are likable and they also have some Irish charisma. Iain De Caestecker (Tom) and Alice Englert (Lucy) are two wonderful actors, they were excellent in the whole movie and they gave their best, especially Alice Englert, her screams made me have chills; I dare to say that her performance is Oscar-worthy.
It's sad that a huge part of the audience bashed this gem. Maybe it was too different for them. Audiences nowadays want to jump out of their seats by cheap jump-scares and they are starving for lots of gore and violence. In Fear is not this type of horror film at all. It is just a strange, well-acted and painfully disturbing movie, without any significant flaws in my opinion. That's why I gave it a perfect score, it delivers what it promises. This movie freaked me out so much. I saw it a year ago and I still remember every frame of it. I will remember this little flick for years, it affected me so much, seriously.
As I said, most of the memorable scenes set place into a car. It's awesome how the director takes advantage of his small cast and budget to create an absolute masterpiece. Once you read the plot synopsis of the film, you may think that it is a boring movie, (Two people in a car, being scared) but it wasn't boring at all, it surprised me so much. I also love it because it doesn't show too much of the violent scenes, the scariest moment in the film (near the end) was a completely unseen scene, but it proves that imagination can be as scary as anything onscreen. In Fear is just my type of horror movie.
Jeremy Lovering has just made an instant classic. Some people complain about the lack of an ending, but I really don't care, you can make your own ending! That's why I love this film. It's hard to say that you will enjoy it, but please give it a chance. You may love it as much as me. Do not expect lots of gore and jump-scares. Just expect excellent performances, disturbing moments and screams out loud. In Fear is an effective and quite disturbing ride, an instant classic to me. I hope you like it! It's the best horror film of 2014 for me, above The Babadook, Under the Skin and Oculus. Such a terrific piece of work. [A+]
★★★★ review by Carlos Laron on Letterboxd
Jumpy and really effective at times. The overall feel of the movie is insufferable if it were to happen in real life and I wouldn't want that. This movie currently holds a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes which I agree with because it's a rare treat. Even though it has flaws, it still managed to give me the scares, I don't know about others who call it bad or terrible. I'm thinking of it as a claustrophobic type of thriller where the technicalities and production outdid any other aspects of the movie. I loved it a lot.
- See all reviews