Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Alice Englert
Iain De Caestecker
Allen Leech.
Directors
Jeremy Lovering.
Screenwriters
Jeremy Lovering.
Running Time
85 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Unfinished Business
2 Star Empire Rating
Blind
4 Star Empire Rating
A Second Chance
2 Star Empire Rating
Dreamcatcher
4 Star Empire Rating
My Name Is Salt
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
EMPIRE ESSAY: When Harry Met Sally
5 Star Empire Rating

In Fear
Irish Scream


submit to reddit


Plot
Tom (De Caestecker) and Lucy (Englert), an English couple, travel to a festival in rural Ireland. Tom has booked a night in a hotel, but they get lost in country lanes. Lucy glimpses a masked man, and the couple are terrorised by persons unknown...


Review
In Fear

Writer-director Jeremy Lovering’s horror movie is so basic in concept it could have been a short or a film-school graduation exercise. Only being genuinely scary excuses round-and-round-the-garden plotting. Leads Tom and Lucy, well-played by Alice Englert and Iain De Caestecker, are on screen almost all the time and only get each other to spark off until Allen Leech shows up as a wounded local in the third act to add humour and perhaps more menace. The characters, who have only been together two weeks, are stuck in their car as evening turns to night, following signposts which maliciously send them back to where they started in the middle of a maze of narrow, unlit country lanes. Uneasy with the situation and each other, they wonder whether they’re the victims of a prank, just imagining things or at the mercy of malign, perhaps supernatural, persecutors.

Though Cornwall substitutes for Ireland, In Fear has a feel for the less picturesque aspect of the countryside (“I have to admit, it looked better on the website,” is a significant line) and the way tiny crises on holiday can fracture relationships. These people irritate each other, a risky strategy which can alienate audiences, but every stupid thing they do or say as things get worse is horridly believable. Lovering has plainly studied what makes a great horror film work: he doesn’t just borrow images from Wolf Creek or The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but takes stylistic cues, layering a soundtrack of creaky, wheezy nighttime noises to amp up the tension, and favouring ultra-tight close-ups that get uncomfortably close to the twitchy eyes of the terrified protagonists.

It is calculated in its button-pushing, missing out on the awe or transgression that accompanies scariness in more envelope-stretching horrors. In the end, it’s an anecdote rather than a story, even if the last reel holds some well set-up nasty surprises and a pay-off that’s audacious or pretentious, depending on your tolerance for 1970s arty exploitation tricks.


Verdict
It may be contrived and nothing new plot-wise, but In Fear has atmosphere and enough proper scares to deliver on the promise of its title.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for In Fear
Empire Star Rating

Attention filmsunlimited

I'd just like to point out to "filmsunlimited" that the car does not "miraculously gain fuel after being empty". When she returns to the car the villain has placed a container of petrol that the girl uses to refill the tank. It's part of the plot. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by clivecox at 13:57, 04 February 2015 | Report This Post


boring but unorthodox

when the movie ended, i frowned. this is crap. but it was a new approach in executing a horror movie. it's a consolation the lead actors are good looking. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaine16 at 16:46, 18 December 2013 | Report This Post


i think three's about right

I liked it. Some great moments (scarecrow - that bit with the hair is fantastic!) I like how the moment in the pub is not shown. Sound track was effective. Probably too many close ups for my liking, especially when the car is stationery, it would have been far more atmospheric and to have framed their faces with the open, expansive background. Perhaps this was the budgetary constraints kicking in. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense at times and Tom is too much of a prick to make you care about wh... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 00:41, 21 November 2013 | Report This Post


Oh dear..........

The three star review is a little high IMO. The premise is good, hotel signs that have you going round in circles and the menacing atmosphere from the pursuers unknown. Where this falls flat is the way the two leads just sit and say nothing in places, often looking gormless at times. Some fairly inexplicable plotting occurs as well, such as a random walk into the woods and the fact that the car miraculously gains fuel after being empty. What saves this from one star ignomy is a killer line 'It l... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by filmsunlimited at 21:13, 17 November 2013 | Report This Post


Oh dear..........

The three star review is a little high IMO. The premise is good, hotel signs that have you going round in circles and the menacing atmosphere from the pursuers unknown. Where this falls flat is the way the two leads just sit and say nothing in places, often looking gormless at times. Some fairly inexplicable plotting occurs as well, such as a random walk into the woods and the fact that the car miraculously gains fuel after being empty. What saves this from one star ignomy is a killer line 'It l... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by filmsunlimited at 21:13, 17 November 2013 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Showrunner Beau Willimon Reveals 8 House Of Cards Secrets
On Kevin Spacey’s dog-dispatching and more…

21 Great Movie Cons
Fleece your friends with these duplicitous devices...

Empire Podcast 150: Margot Robbie
The Focus (and Wolf Of Wall Street) star from the Top Gear track...

Empire's New Spectre Issue Covers
First look at Bond 24 in Empire's April issue

Vote For The Jameson Empire Awards 2015!
Your mission is clear...

Sleeping Beauties: The Story Behind 12 Of Cinema's Unlikeliest Hits
They came, they saw, they surprisingly conquered

Writer / Director Dan Gilroy Reveals 8 Nightcrawler Secrets
On Jake Gyllenhaal's hand-slicing mirror smash and more...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)