Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 14 January 2017
Lucy (Alice Englert) and Tom (Iain De Caestecker) have recently just met, and when Tom invites her to a music festival in Ireland, they travel together in his car. When Tom cheekily suggests they spend their first night together in a hotel, Lucy accepts. But as they head off for romance, things begin to go wrong.
There are many merits to Lovering’s film, the best is Jeremy Lovering’s tense script, which will leave your legs aching the next day, and your nails closely bitten. He builds tension in the smallest and subtlest ways, and after thirty minutes of the film you realise that nothing has actually happened, and that the two characters are doing nothing other than frightening themselves. This is superb writing and far and away better than those ‘quiet, quiet, bang’ films that have no substance. Also, he’s formed two excellent characters, completely rounded, with motivations and needs. We believe in them and worry about them. The highlight of the script is how pared down it is; the film is eight-five minutes long, set mainly in a car, with only three characters and the simplest of story goals. What a masterpiece of writing.
This film can have a number of comparisons within its horror genre, but an odd film came to mind: Steven Knight’s amazing Locke (2013), although not in the same genre as In Fear, has that setting in a car and the tight dialogue that can only be said within the confines of a vehicle. We could also think of James Wan’s exceptional Saw (2004), which is short, with a small number of characters, and mainly set in one location.
There’s a failure with this film, and that is a pretty silly ending. To me it felt like a studio decided ending. An ending written to tempt the teenage cinemagoers. But if you go into the film knowing this, you will be able to enjoy the first two acts and not feel robbed at that final hurdle.
I enjoyed In Fear, and can forgive it for the clichéd ending. Lovering can really write and direct. It’s his first feature film, and shows that he has more than enough talent to transition from television work to film, and I look forward to seeing what he does next.