Star Rating:

In Fear

Director: Jeremy Lovering

Actors: Allen Leech, Iain De Caestecker

Release Date: Monday 30th November -0001

Genre(s): Thriller

Running time: UK minutes

Quick, off the top of your head, how many movies can you think that start off with this description: A young couple (or in some cases, couples) are driving along a deserted road, and find themselves terrorized by something bad. Quite a few, right? For some reason, the horror sub-genre of People In Cars Get Murdered is quite a full one, so for a new entry to get any kind of attention, they've really got to bring something new to the table. For the first half of the movie, In Fear manages to do just that, only for the film to stutter and stumble during its protracted second half.

Tom (Iain De Caestecker) and Lucy (Alice Englert) are a brand-new couple, celebrating their "two-week anniversary" by driving to a music festival in Ireland. They arrive a day early, so Tom has booked them into a fancy, secluded hotel. Following the signs, they soon wind up completely lost, driving in endless circles. As the night begins to roll in, the petrol runs out, tempers flare, and the couple find themselves tormented by an unseen assailant.

It's during these earlier scenes, thanks to the believable chemistry between the adorable couple, that you do quickly pin your hopes on them surviving. Writer/director Jeremy Lovering gets up close and uncomfortable within the claustrophobic confines of the car, while the eerie, endless woods they're driving through recall the magnified panic of The Blair Witch Project.

There are some fantastically composed shots, your eyes darting all over the screen for any potential dangers, all helping to ramp up the tension. However, with the arrival of a third character in the second half of the movie, In Fear becomes nothing more than a watered down version of The Hitcher. Up until this point, it was a mad dash towards Scares-ville, but then it gets stuck on a roundabout, repeating earlier jumps with a lessened effect.

While it does earmark the two lead actors and the director as ones to watch, In Fear is a diverting, mildly entertaining thriller. There was potential for it to become a minor gem, right up until its plot took a wrong turn.