Eye For Film >> Movies >> In Fear (2013) Film Review
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
Is it more frightening to be lost alone in the dark on a country road or with someone you barely know? Tom (Iain De Caestecker) and Lucy (Alice Englert) are about to find out. Celebrating their two-week anniversary and on their way to meet friends at a music festival, Tom has arranged a surprise stop-off at a romantic hotel en route. A quick pint and they're on their way but when their satnav gives up the ghost, the sign posts seem to lead in circles and the sun starts to set, their lust is soon a thing of the past. And if getting lost on a dark country lane in the dark isn't enough, it seems that they may not be alone in the woods...
Jeremy Lovering - making his feature debut here after more than a decade in TV - finds value in economy. He gets Tom and Lucy into the the car with just the right amount of questions hanging over them and a minimum of fuss. He then uses its confines and his restricted cast to good effect, sowing seeds of doubt early on, so that the characters' circular arguments mirror their physical disorientation. The sound design is also impressive, with everything from the rustling of leaves to the clatter of rain on the window screen used to unsettling effect.
In a bid to do his bit to keep the actors as 'in fear' as the characters, Lovering only told De Caestecker, Englert and co-star Allen Leech about the plot as they went along and only scheduled a rehearsal period of two weeks - the same length as the characters' relationship.
The resulting improvisation brings with it a jerky tension but there is also a tendency for scenes to play out a little too much, as though Lovering is hoping that if he lets things run far enough a piece of magic will happen. Sometimes it does, but there is a sense of the situation being mined beyond its means in the film's mid-section.
Fortunately, the arrival of Leech's character, the mysterious Max, snaps the suspense into a higher gear, as the characters charge onwards to a satisfying pay off. Lovering has crafted an old-fashioned thriller for those who like to be gripped without gore and which offers enough surprise and inventiveness to suggest that he has a career beckoning beyond the confines of television.Reviewed on: 08 Feb 2013
Related Articles:Feeding the Fear