Every once in a while, you want a movie that's a slow burner. A movie that takes it's time and is simple in it's execution. There is a time and a place for a slap you upside the head, movie going experience. There's other times where you want to savor the mood, the background, the characters and the tone. 'In Fear' was one of those movies. This is one that you sit back, turn the lights off and just sink yourself deep into the world presented.
This is a fairly small budgeted thriller. It basically features a cast of three. Our two main characters and their tormentor. But what it lacks in actor's and big budget explosions, it makes up for in beautifully shot landscapes and the pure feeling of claustrophobia while driving through the winding roads. You never know when something will hit you upside the head. You aren't ever quite sure what's real and what's being imagined in our main characters paranoid minds. It makes you feel like you're almost there with them. However, it's the basic premise and low-fi approach to things, which is what creates a unique movie going experience. You keep expecting for the curtain to open up and reveal the master plan.... but it never happens. It feels like something is humming under the surface and that at any moment something horrible will happen.... but it all just ends up being simple. That's what made me love this that much more. There's no need to have a franchise building, main villain or a giant demon possessed monster pulling the strings of our hero's. It's just 3 people put into a situation that they have to decide how to get out of alive.
The simple storyline here is this, a couple are on their way to a hotel out in the middle of nowehere. This will lead into a music festival that they wish to attend. A nice get away for the two of them and a chance at a romantic weekend. While stopped at a pub on the way, they have a run in that creates drama. They leave, unaware of what that simple action has created. Soon, they're making their way down winding back roads and thinking all is right with the world. However, as the day wears on and the roads continue to keep winding and they don't seem to be getting anywhere, they realize.... something is terribly wrong. It's not immediately obvious to them. At first it seems like human error, then maybe something more, then maybe something supernatural and eventually they start to wonder if the harmless incident at the pub has come back to haunt them. It keeps getting progressivly worse, until it all culminates in a confrontation with the source of their fear. That's about it.... without giving away the milk for free, if you know what I mean?
Overall, it's a wonderfully refreshing feeling to come into a movie that takes you by surprise. One that crept in under the radar and punched you in the back of the head. I was really taken for an unexpected ride. One that was both amazing to look at and one that didn't require a lot of big effects or storyline. Something that plays on some of our basest fears. Those of being lost, hunted and unsure of where to turn when you're all out of options. No cell phone. You're running out of gas. Everything you knew is still right there in front of you, but you can't find it. This hit all the right chords and made me ride a roller coaster of real world emotions. I would highly recommend this to those of you who like your horror simple, slow burning and without all the bad guys with a gimmick. I'd give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars. If I had one complaint, it would be the ending. Not that it was bad or unsatisfying. It just felt a bit short sighted. Too simple. I'm not sure what other way it could have ended, but it seems like there was a bit more that needed to be there. A little more padding. All in all, a diamond in the rough and something that I would recommend to any horror fan looking for something just a little bit different.
If you like this, I'm not sure what else to recommend. It's really kind of it's own thing.