Director: Jeremy Lovering Starring:Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, Allen Leech. UK, Ireland. 1h 25m
There’s nothing new about a couple going for a fun thrilled romantic break in Ireland, it’s not like the market is swamped and this is a genre movie but with crackers like From the Dark (2014), which sees a more established couple trying to revive a strained relationship while descending on a village overrun by hard to kill vampires, along with this creature feature there’s a brilliant psychological tale Travellers (2011) that involved a group of city boys running into some Irish travellers but until a few magical 360 plot spinning reveal it’s hard to know who’s the worst set of characters. So with these already out and about, for seasoned horror fans, this movie initially kicks off as more of the same, or is it? Jeremy Lovering uses these others as stepping stones and red herrings, helping to throw his audience off and In Fear manages to fool and chill constantly from beginning to end.
Life before this adventure isn’t important, the film opens with a charming and desperate tom leaving a few phone messages on Lucy’s answer phone, he’s obviously smitten and can’t wait to whisk her away to a music festival, but they aren’t going alone.. but strangely before meeting up with friends, they do head to a remote Irish pub alone. out introduction to Lucy is watching her reading toilet graffiti, not glorious but she adds her rebuttal and by the time she’s out of the door, she’s pulled to the car. Something happened with Tom and the locals in her absence but the only explanation from Tom is that there was a spilt pint and he brought a round. This isn’t the only time the young man doesn’t really make sense, and his shifty attitude can be read in so many ways.
Tom attempts to take Lucy to a plush hotel, to spend one night together while her friends are waiting for them in a field, but after hours of driving they find themselves going around in circles. How could Tom get so lost when there are signs everywhere? Time after time they find themselves facing a scrap yard and not the hotel. From this point on we’re with Lucy, we don’t know Tom as much as she doesn’t know Tom, and she’s acting way more rationally. What happened in the pub, did he anger the locals, did he make the ultimate faux pas and spilt some Guinness or was he plotting with the locals to mess with this girl’s head?
“Ha ha I don’t even have a knife!”-Max
Once the night descends, and Tom begins drinking while driving, the movie takes a dark turn, not only are the couple weary of each other, they are hard to read, someone tries to pull Lucy from the car and when Tom goes for a piss in the dark there’s a strange masked figure watching him. But as the couple are stalked and frightened, lost and isolated they have each other but having only known each other for a few days, their doubts begin to take hold.
The film only had 3 characters, yes there’s one additional character, a chap called Max who they run over in panic and then try to help. But the film is split between sitting in the car screaming or running around the countryside screaming, there’s not a lot of other factors to take in, however there’s a lot of character development and once the heat it turned up, there’s a some shocking violence and then a strange ending. You will want to watch until the end to find out what the hell is going on, but once it’s all revealed you’ll probably meh at the conclusion, which to me doesn’t really make any sense, but at least the ordeal will be over for everyone… Jeremy Lovering’s talents in making episodes within established series cannot be faulted but his pacing for a much longer project, in my eyes, needs tweaking as the plot gets lost as much as the characters do.