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In Fear


Stars: Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, Allen Leech

Director: Jeremy Lovering

There seems to be the makings of a good chiller here but, apart from a couple of scary jump-moments, the result of its ingredients proves to be very hard going.

En route to a campsite in Ireland - the film was shot in Devon and Cornwall and the hedge-lined lanes are unmistakeable - new couple Sam (De Caestecker) and Lucy (Englert) divert to a 'paradise' hotel for a dirty weekend, only to find themselves going round in circles, following signs that lead to nowhere but back where they started.

Dusk looms: Lucy is frightened by a figure in a white mask, which she sees again when Sam stops for a pee. Then she finds all her own clothes strewn in the road.

After more circular perambulations, and running low on petrol, they hit a man (Leech: Tom from TV's Downton Abbey), whose face is already cut up - he says by the same guys who have been menacing Sam and Lucy.

As with many modern shockers, the plot makes very little sense. Given that the hotel turns out to be derelict, why is it still on the internet and so copiously signposted? And how does the bad guy manage to turn up all over the countryside, often on foot? Where does he keep the huge-headlighted van that turns up near the end?

It would help if Sam and Lucy were more resilient, but until the last reel they remain passive and panicky. We can admire the director's skill in stage managing the few shocks at his disposal, but little else here.

David Quinlan

UK 2012. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour (unspecified).
83 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 08 Nov 2013