Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In Fear (Blu-ray Review) - Don't Drive Scared

So as for being lost on a way to a music festival in the middle of the woods through a labyrinth of back roads… let me recant a little experience I have at least twice a year, and may explain why I’m simply not scared of the new Anchor Bay release of In Fear. I gave it a chance, but ultimately being lost in a car in the middle of nowhere is something that I’ve experienced wholesale. Let me explain. Let’s talk about what it means to be in fear.

About twice a year I have the opportunity to drive to the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA. It’s the theatre where the original Blob “came out” literally through the projection booth  and is host to First Friday Fright Nights as well as other specialty festivals. The group that puts on these festivals is professional, fun loving and the nicest folks you’d ever want to put 35mm in your eyeballs. The trip to the Colonial is a two hour trek into Pennsylvania. I love Pennsylvania (except for your godddamn drivers). Getting there is simple. I take the major roads. I follow the GPS. I get there with plenty of time to spare and enjoy Phoenixville proper, a town of artists and interesting eateries. After the show, on my way home, late in the evening… something… happens. My GPS turns into a confused recklessly abandoning Ahab steering me through the mountains of madness on the edge of the PA/NJ border. I travel up and down and over and around hills that seem to go on for endless miles. There is no reason for this. There are plenty of highway and even by-ways that should assist in getting around this backwood, strange land of mountains terror in the middle of the woods. This has happened on TWO separate GPS devices. I have checked all the settings. It isn’t set to avoid tolls. It isn’t set for the goddamn scenic route. It just DOES this to me. On the mountains, in the middle of the dark woods, alone, in strange religious lands (you should see some of the fucked up churches I encounter) the GPS STOPS WORKING. Every time. I just continue down a road or two and it eventually picks up. Those moments are filled with real terror. Scared that I’ll end up in a ditch or mobbed by strange zealots. Usually when I’m leaving the Colonial it’s after midnight, sometimes as late as 2am. This heightens my senses. I’m tired. I’m nearly falling asleep. I’m usually trying to stay awake using very powerful death metal and Monster energy drinks.  Senses explode. You finally hit the Jersey border and Route 78 and that is home. You’re still an hour away, but you’re free from the vermicious clutches of the wood and the hills and the unknown.

On to In Fear…

Synopsis from Anchor Bay:

Driving to a music festival in Ireland, lovers Lucy and Tom become lost on the complex system of country roads and are set upon by a mysterious tormentor, forcing them to fight to survive and also to face their deepest fears.


So that’s why In Fear doesn’t do it for me. When you’re used to getting lost in the woods, attacked by unseen monsters and madman (made up in your own mind) this film can’t hold a candle to what my brain can and has done to me. I’d nearly welcome a real attacker. At least then it would break the tension created in my brain. That’s not to say that the movie is constructed poorly, but it feels obvious and ordinary as if we’d seen it before though not necessarily better.  This happens sometimes right? An emotionally charged personal experience is allowed to affect your opinion of a movie, and so it did.

The performances by all are fine I suppose. Especially strong is Alice Englert who is definitely the star of this car invasion film.

That quality of this production and Blu-ray disc is good. It looks fine and features a behind the scenes reel. 1080p 2.35:1. TrueHD 5.1.  For a movie that take place in a car in the woods, it’s lit well and the picture is nice i.e. not so dark that you’d be annoyed that you can’t see anything.

My recommendation is to watch In Fear knowing that nothing truly terrified me personally, but that you might experience a genuine piece of fear. If you’re typically scared by home invasion flicks, this will get you.  It’s a realistic horror picture. Do not expect the fantastical. Expect a movie that is trying to scare you in real life, to make you think, to question what it means to be lost in the middle of nowhere. I prefer my torment pictures more gristly, but I’m a sicko.

-Doc Terror

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