Nothing Left To Fear


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Nothing Left To Fear
"Nothing Left To Fear benefits from a genuinely creepy atmosphere in its first half and from competent acting all round."

Moving house is rarely a good omen in films, especially if it happens right at the start, and even more so if the new house happens to be on the outskirts of an idyllic small town. From the outset, Dan (James Tupper), has misgivings about transplanting his family, but essentially he's just worried about his kids 9a young son and two teenage daughters) fitting in and finding things to do. He's bound to be kept busy himself, as the town's new pastor. The people there, though not especially strict, seem genuinely devoted to their religious duties. Unfortunately for the newcomers, these might not quite be in line with what they expected.

When young Mary (Jennifer Stone) find something nasty in a cake, it becomes apparent that something is amiss, but the full horror of the situation is still lurking in the shadows. Christopher (Carter Cabassa) is more worried about whether or not he'll make friends at school. The adults are getting to know the locals, even if they sometimes seem a bit over-friendly. Rebecca (Rebekah Brandes) is pursuing a young man, Noah (Ethan Peck, who bears a curious resemblance to a young Jeff Goldblum). Yet Noah, though he seems attracted to her, is strangely stand-offish. He seems on the verge of telling her something that he can't quite bring himself to say.

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Nothing Left To Fear benefits from a genuinely creepy atmosphere in its first half and from competent acting all round, with Brandes the standout - refreshing in a genre where young women are too often cast for their looks alone. Unfortunately this isn't enough to overcome the problems that stem from a formulaic plot and a lack of ideas in the second half, once things become openly unpleasant. There's also one plot hole so gaping that it threatens to swallow the whole enterprise - if the horror that threatens the town comes from beyond a gate which is ritually opened and closed once a year, why not, you know, just not open the gate? With no effort made to overcome this problem, we are asked to suspend more than the average amount of disbelief in a film that doesn't earn that level of commitment.

With its twists and turns obvious from the start, this film doesn't have a lot of cards left to play. Its supernatural scenes are occasionally eerie but not really anything special, and the only actor who really makes us feel afraid for him is the kid (Cabassa). There's nothing to the spooky small town schtick that hasn't been done better before. Every now and then director Leonardi presents us with a promising visual idea but fails to develop these into anything interesting, tending to rely instead on upping the gore factor when it's unlikely anyone choosing to watch this will find that at all remarkable.

If all you're looking for is a late night horror film to pass the time or wash away the taste of a romcom, you could do a lot worse than this. That said, you could also do a lot better.

Reviewed on: 02 Feb 2014
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Nothing Left To Fear packshot
A family moves into an isolated town where the locals have a sinister secret.
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Director: Anthony Leonardi III

Writer: Jonathan W C Mills

Starring: Rebekah Brandes, Jennifer Stone, Ethan Peck, Wayne Pére, Anne Heche, James Tupper, Carter Cabassa, Clancy Brown

Year: 2013

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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