WHO’S IN IT?
Iain De Caestecker (Filth), Alice Englert (Beautiful Creatures), Allen Leech (Downton Abbey)
WHO’S BEHIND THE CAMERA?
Jeremy Lovering (Spooks), director, writer; James Biddle (Sightseers) and Nira Park (Hot Fuzz), producers; Daniel Pemberton (The Counsellor) and Roly Porter (film debut), composers; David Katznelson (Driving Lessons), cinematographer; Jonathan Amos (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), editor
WHAT’S THE STORY?
On the secluded back roads of Northern Ireland, Tom and Lucy (Caestecker and Englert) travel by car to a music festival. Naturally, they get lost in the woods, and as an unseen threat looms around them both will have to fight in order to survive the night…
WHY SHOULD YOU BE EXCITED?
You remember the movie Children of Men, and in particular that one long continuous take that’s 90% set within a car as the protagonists are attacked by rioters? You know, this one?
Okay, now imagine a film that’s mostly just that. The result, a new horror-suspense movie named In Fear, is being heralded as one of the break-out horror hits of the year.
Mostly set within the confides of a car – although not all the time, there are some scenes taking place outside it as well – the film is able to build on certain levels of paranoia, claustrophobia and fears of driving into dark open spaces. If ever you’ve been forced to drive at night time, along a secluded area where anything could potentially pop out at any moment, this film will reiterate your frightful thoughts. It’s down to expert direction by Spooks alumni Jeremy Lovering (who also contributed to the screenplay) which lifts the film above the norm to make it stand out beside many other horror films of late.
Also noteworthy is the miniscule size of the cast, with only three names to list as can be seen above. The two most dominant are, of course, our two protagonists played by Iain De Caestecker and Alice Englert. Current watchers of TV might recognise young Scottish actor Caestecker from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (we emphasise “might”; apparently it’s not doing so well in the ratings right now), while Englert has previously appeared in films Ginger and Rosa and Beautiful Creatures. From what one can tell, these two carry the film expertly and their reactions to the horrific events happening around them seem all the more terrifying thanks to their realistic and naturalistic performances. Also, be on the lookout for a third player in the form of Downton Abbey’s Allen Leech. What role he plays, you’ll have to discover yourselves.
But the reason to be properly excited is due to how small it is. Originally debuting on the independent film festival circuit (including a wild first reception at January’s Sundance Film Festival), critics have been astounded that a film can make you scream with fright on such a shoestring budget. If anything, In Fear proves that you don’t need millions of dollars, gallons of fake blood and generic stock plot beats to bring about the fear in people. All it can take, in this film’s case anyway, is a great deal of natural atmosphere and subtle pokes towards the fears of its audience without shoving it directly in their faces.
So, if you’re in for some scares the old-fashioned – and minimalist – way, then In Fear is probably your best bet for a scary flick this weekend.