Recently, I checked out Jeremy Lovering’s UK thriller In Fear as part of Cineplex’s Sinister Cinema series.
Tom & Lucy (Iain De Caestecker & Alice Englert) are on their way to an Irish music festival, when they decide to stay the night at a remote hotel. When finding said hotel proves to be difficult, they wind up endlessly driving in circles… and they may not be alone.
In Fear was a well made film that relied on simple storytelling and atmosphere. The majority of the film was two characters driving around the back roads of the Irish countryside, so it was a testament to the filmmakers that I was never bored. I think my favourite thing about In Fear was how well the darkness – or more specifically, the absence of light – was utilized in the film. The illumination of their car’s headlights and flashlights really felt like a lifeline, and the uncertainty beyond could’ve swallowed them up at any moment. It created a sense of dread fairly quickly, and only escalated as the car’s gas gauge drew closer to empty.
Another thing that I appreciated was that it didn't feel that the movie shot its was, so to speak, once the “threat” was revealed. I’ve seen a lot of thrillers that feature three person dynamics over the years (Philip Noyce’s Dead Calm and Carl Tibbetts’ Retreat to name two examples) and felt that In Fear held its own. While some may see the lack of explanation as to the antagonist’s actions as a detriment, I did not. His malevolence was unfaltering in a way that reminded me of Wolf Creek’s Mick Taylor. In Fear’s equivalent may have employed methods that were a little less direct, but that didn’t make them any less deadly.
While In Fear won’t do anything to bolster Irish tourism, I felt it was a decent & contained thriller about the perils of venturing off the beaten path.