With brilliant performances from its leading trio, Alice Englert, Iain De Caestecker, and Allen Leech, the film takes you on a ride into the darkness of a nightmarish forest, and leaves you guessing as their fears play out.
On their way to a music festival, new couple Lucy (Englert) and Tom (De Caestecker) decide to spend the night before in a countryside hotel, located a way off the beaten track. When night sets in, and they themselves trapped in a seemingly never-ending maze, they become the prey of a faceless attacker, and the night becomes one long, terrorising struggle to survive.
In many ways, the less said about In Fear the better. And I mean that in a good way, for it to keep you guessing. Lovering himself kept much of the script secret even from his cast, to get that much more of an authentic and immediate performance from them. And it really worked.
The horror genre has seen a terrific resurgence on our shores in recent years, in no small part bolstered by the likes of Ben Wheatley, James Watkins, and the revival of Hammer Films. In Fear stands tall alongside them, with Lovering bringing out truly stellar performances not often seen in films like this.
Much credit is due to Englert and De Caestecker, who manage to maintain the high level of tension throughout, despite a fair portion of the time being spent sat alone in the car.
The film does, at times, revert to some of the clichés of the genre – a lack of signal, for instance, albeit also translated for the modern day with the use of SatNav. And, without going into the specifics, I think its conclusion arguably took a slightly easy way out, for what could have been a more original direction. Nonetheless, the pace and thrills of the film are enough to overlook those relatively minor complaints.
When panic begins to set in for these characters, their fear feels so real on screen. And that is really one of the most important things to see in a film like this. Fear. And, appropriately titled, In Fear has it in spades. The choices these characters make out in the dark, and their motivations for doing so, go above and beyond the call of most horror movies. With remarkable performances from Englert and De Caestecker, especially, whose newfound relationship is put to the test over the course of one terrifying night, In Fear is very much a must-see movie of the year for fans of the genre. Thrilling and chilling, and consequently a lot of fun throughout.
In Fear is out in cinemas on the 15th November.