Monday, August 17, 2015

In Fear, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to..

....the concert!  Funny is not the word.  Horrifying is a better word.  2013's "In Fear" will end suddenly and you'll be saying, "What happened!" Don't try to figure this movie out before you watch the end credits, as Alice Englert, the star of this film, will perform the closing score, "Conversation with Death."  Listen to the lyrics, and pay lots of attention to the first five minutes of "In Fear" and you will have a pretty good idea of what happened.
Tom (Iain De Caestecker) asks Lucy (Englert) to accompany him to a concert in Ireland.  This cute couple have known each other for two weeks but seem very sweet.  They stop off at a pub in the opening scene, and what happens at the pub will be a mystery that will haunt them, and the viewer, for the rest of the film,  Tom is a smooth operator and convinces Lucy to stay at a quaint hotel with him that night.  Her options are limited, and Tom does seem really nice (...just wait), so she agrees. Our protagonists find a guide to lead them to the hotel, but they are dumped off in a maize of narrow roads and misguiding signs.  They drive for what feels like hours, and only end up going in circles.  Both begin to unhinge and early stages of panic creep into their psyches.  No longer a cute couple, but a bickering duo.
Lucy believes she sees a figure stalking them, but Tom doesn't believe her.  They argue and begin pulling away from each other as Lucy questions Tom's honesty and motivations. Then the stalker appears, attempting to drag Lucy away.  Tom saves her and the two speed away nearly killing Max (Allen Leech), who is on the road.  At first Max appears to be a victim of whatever evil is controlling fate, but it doesn't take long for Tom, Lucy, and us to realize Max is the antagonist. Max' manipulations of Tom and Lucy drive them apart even more and unsettle them further.  Then Max' deeds become horrific and deadly.  Lucy and Tom continue to unravel....but will they rebound?  What did Tom do that may have brought on this torment?  Does Lucy have any fight in her?  I won't deliver any spoilers, but this film will have you thinking long after Ms. Englert concludes her haunting ballad at the finish of "In Fear."
I finished watching this film about 30 minutes ago and there are three possible explanations, in my mind, for the ending.  All of them horrific.  Again, not the feel good film of the millennium, but perhaps a poignant fable of the impossibility of escaping our past.  Directed masterfully by Jeremy Lovering and filmed in Cornwall and Devon, see "In Fear." Available on Netflix, let "In Fear" serve as a warning to all you young people...."Two weeks is not enough time to know somebody!"

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