Monday, May 19, 2014

The Fear (1995) Review:

Very few horror franchises delve into the psyche of the victim’s mind with a unique antagonist. The most memorable villain was Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) because of his power to invade peoples’ dreams. In this movie, instead of dreams, the danger is created by fear (which is where the title comes from). When fear is present, a spirit called Morty enters the real world. It's an interesting concept, unfortunately, the execution of this movie needs some work for it to really peak in its value of entertainment. There are a few good parts and they will be covered.

Such a generic cast
This plot surfaces when a psychologist Richard (Eddie Bowz) gets a project approved for a fear therapy session up in a remote cabin owned by his parents. Upon getting there they begin to encounter strange events that are far from coincidental. Helping with the creepy factor is the character of Morty - a hand carved wooden mannequin that gives very little comfort. This particular aspect to the film is its strongest point. The suit that the actor plays in has looks of wooden textures and moves rigidly as well. Adding to that is the rickety sound that is used for every movement that Morty makes. It's very convincing that this wooden creature isn't the newest thing around. Perhaps what makes this character the most likable is the fact that he says very little. It creates mystery.

The writing by Ron Ford who continues to write today, did an ok job with the concept but everything else needs work. The concept of this creature appearing when fear is in the air is different. Considering that everyone has fears, no one is safe, so that works. However, when it comes to main characters, not one actor ever has scene that means anything more than what is being shown. The motivations behind a few characters are also misguided. One minute a girl is flirting with another man, then later she finds him repulsive - ummm ok. This is just one of a couple. Also, the fact that the casting crew hired a white actor with dreadlocks - just no. In this cast there are a few actors that go on into bigger movies but do not play roles any bigger than this. Surprisingly, Wes Craven has a small part in here. What exactly did he see in this movie? Another mystery.

However, that make up job though!
Other than that there's the music, scares / violence and cinematography. Picture wise, it's ok. It's not bad nor is it anything worth the time mentioning. The music by Robert O. Ragland was average too. It would've been even better though if there wasn't insertions of 90s pop music. It seriously dates the film - not to mention those dreadlocks from earlier. Finally, because this is in the horror genre, the film is practically non-scary. There are a number of scenes where the viewer will question to how even the characters on screen did not see the scare coming. How do you not see something through a transparent surface? Also, for what it presents the gore is very low here. It's probably lower in blood than even John Carpenter's Halloween (1978). If you want gore, it's not your film.

The concept of fear being brought to a reality is commendable and so is the actual design behind the antagonist. Yet, with writing that is unclear, poor scare tactics and other dated elements, the movie rarely works.

Points Earned --> 4:10

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