Sundance Film Festival selection "In Fear" was released on Blu-ray and DVD recently. Although it's easy to see why the film was chosen to be showcased at the event, it still doesn't quite measure up and falls short of taking home any awards. While it does its job by putting audiences in the grip of fear and tension, you're still left feeling much like the tormented couple lost while driving through the woods. I begged the question, "Where is this going?" as I couldn't shake the sensation of going around in circles and not getting anywhere.
Tom and Lucy have known each other for two weeks. Wanting to get acquainted with each other, they embark on a road trip to a music festival in Ireland. The two decide to stay at an out-of-the-way hotel for a romantic evening alone before meeting up with their friends. After being led out into the middle of nowhere, they discover they've been the victims of someone's sick and deranged plans to torture and stalk them.
"In Fear" does a great job putting to use its Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound mix. You'll feel like you're enveloped by the woods and being swallowed by all the noises and sinister quiet the film uses to keep viewers constantly on the edge of their seats. The crew that handled the sound editing for this movie deserves a huge pat on the back.
The movie is given a widescreen presentation (2:35.1). Much of "In Fear" takes place at night and Director /Writer Jeremy Lovering uses the darkness to his advantage. The picture quality is still clean and clear, but only reveals what he wants the audience to see.
One special feature is found on the Blu-ray for "In Fear." A featurette entitled "'In Fear:' Behind the Scenes" digs a bit below the surface and explores the making of the movie. There are interviews with the cast and crew and footage of the production. Director/Writer Jeremy Lovering also discusses what he was trying to accomplish and say with the film.
"In Fear" is rated R for some disturbing violent content and terror, and language. There are really no adult situations or nudity involved. Tom and Lucy kiss at one point and that's it. Things definitely get very tense at times and you're left sympathizing with the couple as they suffer through one frightening ordeal after the next.
Although it's far from perfect, "In Fear" does what its creator wanted it to. It strikes fear and anxiety in the hearts of the viewing audience. There's no way you can watch it without experiencing some level of stress or panic.
The problem isn't really with the establishment of the atmosphere "In Fear" exudes. What it's missing is any sense of bearing or end goal. We're given a series of tragic and formidable events spread out through 85 minutes with no sort of plausible course trajectory or satisfying motive for the torment being brought down on them.