The Fear takes place in a remote cabin where Richard, a student of psychology, is conducting an experiment by having a group of people join him at the cabin to create a therapy group and exploring their deepest fears. Shortly after they arrive at the cabin, they find a wooden dummy that has been nicknamed Morty. Richard used to play with Morty when he was a child and the group figures that it would be a good idea to add Morty into the group therapy sessions. What the others don’t know is that Richard has his own fears to deal with and the wooden creature Morty might be related to them…. Even if this movie deals with fear, its title The Fear is still pretty lame.
It sounds like a title added to a film at the last second because they couldn’t come up with anything better. Think about it, The Fear could basically be a title for any horror movie ever made as fear is something that all of our beloved genre films deal with in one way or another. Then again, I guess The Fear is better than Morty – Hard Wood or any other title that would deal with the supernatural creature of the film. Anyways, the film came out in 1995 and there just is something about low budget films that make them able to capture the time period they are made in.
The Fear is a great example of this as the film reeks of mid-90’s. All of the clothes, characters and even the feel of the film nails the 90’s so well. As a guy had my teenage years in the 90’s, there is an automatic nostalgic feel for me when I watch this film. And in a way that’s kind of funny as the story here is more 80’s than 90’s. We have a group of people going out to a cabin, we have a supernatural monster that is perhaps killing off people. Both very typical 80’s slasher film cliches that got abandoned early in the 90’s, before the entire slasher subgenre got re-energized in a sort of new way with Wes Craven’s Scream.
The filmmakers here tried to do something more than just deliver a simple slasher film though as they give an honest attempt at doing more with the characters than just killing them off to give the viewers blood and gore. And that’s all fine and good, if it had worked, something it doesn’t really do here. The struggles and well, fear of the characters doesn’t come through that well off the screen even if you can see that there is a clear attempt by the filmmakers and actors involved.
They focus so much on the story itself that the horror elements doesn’t start until the film has lasted for an entire hour, which will make people wanting a cheesy horror film become uninterested by that point. A slow paced film doesn’t need to be a bad film though, but when the horror elements first hit the screen here it just doesn’t work and is frankly poorly constructed. The struggles of the characters don’t work all that well either, although again, there is a clear effort here to make it work. Even if the characters are fun on a nostalgic i-miss-the-90s-factor, you never feel for any of the characters and the entire thing feels a bit like a mess and a lot of it just doesn’t make that much sense.
They did have a good idea here though as the idea of having all the character confront their own fear is not a bad premise at all. Somehow it just sadly didn’t translate that well from script to screen. As mentioned, I do believe that all of the cast and crew tried here. Eddie Bowz plays the leading role of Richard.
He looks like a Andy Garcia look-a-like in this one with the typical 90’s sweater going all the way up the neck and everything. His character makes too many dumb choices for us to really cheer for the guy as he comes across as a stupid douchebag in my opinion. The rest of the cast is mostly unknowns, except a cameo role by the legendary horror director himself Wes Craven as Richard’s professor. The story here of confronting your own fears probably persuaved him to do the cameo as that seems like a topic that was right up Craven’s alley. And… yeah, we still miss you Wes.
The Morty creature looks decent, it’s a wooden dummy so how much more could they really do with him to be honest. He isn’t that much used here though and when he is first moving around he hardly looks very wooden at all, but rather like a guy in a costume. And he is hardly any scary at all and would fit more in a more comedy filled fun horror story. The director of this film, Vincent Robert, only directed this film.
It shows that the director wasn’t all that experienced, even if he should get props for the effort. It was obviously not a big budget feature and it does have a bit of a dated 90’s video look to it. One thing that I absolutely love about this film is actually the soundtrack! The soundtrack is basically a horrorcore compilation album. Horrorcore is a subgenre of hiphop where the raps are more horror based, filled with dark stories and internal struggles. I am a huge fan of the genre and this soundtrack can brag about having some of the biggest acts within this subgenre on it with everyone from Esham, Gravediggaz to Insane Clown Posse showing up on it.
Esham even did the theme song of the movie with his track The Fear – Morty’s Theme. It’s a great soundtrack on its own and I should probably ebay it someday and grab it. The score by Robert O. Ragland has notes that reminds me a lot of the theme song from Full Moon’s The Puppet Master. I would not be surprised if Ragland has slightly influenced by that one, or just plainly wanted to rip it off. I kind of like what The Fear was trying to do, even if I don’t think they succeeded in bringing their idea to the screen. If you’re out for a silly slasher film then I think you would be a bit disappointed by this and perhaps the sequel would be more in your taste.
Even if I do recognize that The Fear is not a great or maybe even a good movie, I still like and appreciate the effort behind it so I’m giving it a 3 out of 5. So, what do you think of The Fear, if you have seen it that is. What attracted you to the movie in the first place, was it the Wes Craven cameo or the idea of a wooden dummy going bananas on people?