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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
86





Studio and Year: Anchor Bay Entertainment - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 85 Minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: Spanish
Starring: Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, Allen Leech
Directed by: Jeremy Lovering
Music by: Daniel Pemberton, Roly Porter
Written by: Jeremy Lovering
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 11th, 2014
"Have they let the evil in, or is it already there?"


Film Synopsis:

Experience the film being hailed as “chilling, tense, and scary”(Screen Daily). Young couple Tom (Iain De Caestecker of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) and Lucy (Alice Englert of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES) are driving to a festival in the remote Irish countryside. When they leave the main highway to look for their hotel, they quickly lose their way along the back-roads. Lost and tormented as night falls, Tom and Lucy’s primal anxieties of the dark and the unknown start to take hold. When the couple discovers they are not alone, they realize that their worst fears lay in the road ahead. Allen Leech (“Downton Abbey”) co-stars in this shattering debut feature by writer/director Jeremy Lovering.



My Take:

In Fear had some good press and a bit of buzz from its screening at Sundance. I was excited to check it out as it seemed right in my wheelhouse. The plot is as basic as it gets and revolves around Tom and Lucy who are on their first date traveling to a festival to meet friends. Tom has other plans as he springs on Lucy that he booked a room at a quaint hotel for the evening before the festival begins. Calling him a "Cheeky Bastard", Lucy agrees and the two set out on a detour. On the way to the isolated hotel cell and gps signal fade and they rely on a map and street signs. Of course they end up lost and in a never ending loop that they just cant seem to get out of. As the night falls paranoia sets in as they realize they are being stalked and tormented. With no way out, the two must try to escape, or at the least try to stay alive.

In Fear had a lot going for it, with the casting of Lucy and Tom feeling authentic, the direction and cinematography working to build tension and a simple but effective build-up. However, not to long in, as the films layers shed its weaknesses are revealed. The script, antagonists and ultimate outcome are all a letdown, and any real fear "In Fear" does conjure up ultimately dissipates under an almost non-existent script. The film was mostly improv, with writer/director Jeremy Lovering and crew setting out with a story only. A pretty daring move for producers, especially on a first time director. Looking at it that way the end result is good, but as a fleshed out narrative it does disappoint.

Parental Guide:

Rated R for some disturbing violent content and terror, and for language




AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 88

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:




Video: 84

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:


In Fear comes to Blu-ray disc from Anchor Bay featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24.2 mbps and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound with an average bitrate of 3.8 mbps.

In Fear has a moody and claustrophobic look and feel which translated well on to Blu-ray courtesy of Anchor Bay. From bright and clear to dark and grainy, the cinematography is always about the mood and the 1080p/24 image always milks what details are on each frame. Blacks are deep with excellent shadow details, and contrast is stable. Colors are a bit subdued, but this is expected in the films dark feel and mostly night setting. The lossless 5.1 soundtrack was the standout here with some great use of atmosphere to elicit chills, deep bass when called and an always clear front sound-stage.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Behind The Scenes



Final Thoughts:

In Fear needed a little more fear, a little more depth a little more plot, or as some movies benefit from, a script. I found that all the parts that had development, also known as the first 30 minutes, worked very well. A sound production and acting make it worth a rental to those interested.









Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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Screen Innovations Gamma Maestro 4K 1.1 138" 2.35:1 Acoustically Transparent CinemaScope Screen

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Onkyo PR-SC5509 Pre/Pro

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Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 3D 1080p Plasma

URC DMS-AV Receiver

Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

MKSound MP-7 LCR's

MKSound SUR-55T Surrounds

Triad Bronze Subwoofer
 

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These days I'm so bagged I usually fall asleep after the first 30 minutes anyway, so this may be a good rental for me.
 

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Lee: Thanks for the spot on review. I was really looking forward to it based on the sundance buzz and other early reviews. Though as minimalist horror/terror film, I appreciated it...but didn't love it. If you were to describe it in stereotyped Hollywood terms, it was Wolf Creek meets Funny Games. The set up to the film and characters reminded me of Wolf Creek in creating a natural introduction to the main characters, while surveying the location being the countryside. Where the unseen protagonist(s) in this film had more in common with Funny Games, than Wolf Creek's Mick Taylor. Maybe that was my real issue with film, is I was never really "freaked out or scared" by the villain(s) after the reveal.


I would put this in the category of something my wife might like (though she hates horror movies) and something my teenage son could share with his friends, since it lacks the gore and sex....It wouldn't be objectionable to his friend's parents.
 

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Actually came across another review which gave it a positive for the first 45 minutes. That's 15 mins more than Lee! lol! Doesn't seem to be any Blu-Ray rental discs offered out there (I truly hate the anti-consumer home video industry.)
 
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