Bring Out the Fear
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 15m
Director(s): Richard Waters
Writer(s): Richard Waters
Cast: Ciara Bailey, James Devlin, Tad Morari, Brian Matthews Murphy
Where To Watch: Streaming now, visit www.thehorrorcollective.com for more information
RAVING REVIEW: I don’t think I’ve mentioned this recently, so I wanted to cover the subject again. My rating scale is a half-star rating to a five-star rating. A half-star is a genuinely abysmal film with no redeeming qualities for me. In contrast, a five-star is one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Many people will see a two-and-a-half star rating and think it means I hated it; however, by my definition, I put it right in the middle, a film I didn’t hate but didn’t love either. BRING OUT THE FEAR invites you on a journey into the heart of a relationship teetering on the edge of collapse as a couple finds themselves trapped in a dangerous forest that refuses to let them go. This psychological thriller will have you questioning the boundaries between reality and illusion, keeping you on the edge of your seat until the final scene.
Centered around Dan (Tad Morari) and Rosie (Ciara Bailey,) the film's narrative sees the horror elements fail partly because of how long it took to get to them. Although the ambiguous nature of the story might intrigue some, sometimes the unknown works well; in this case, I feel it held the film back because there was no real “fear.” It’s tough to hold an entire film down with such a small cast; the leads here did a fantastic job capturing the intricacies of a deteriorating relationship.
The film's first half focuses on relationship drama, with writer/director Richard Waters establishing the characters. So much time was given to developing flat characters rather than focusing on the narrative. Dan comes off as sympathetic, while Rosie's dynamic evolves throughout the film. As their relationship struggles, the intensity of the film does grow.
Steven Nolan's score, a mix of unnerving forest sounds, and a haunting orchestra combine for a powerful experience. Disorienting camera work amplifies the film's unsettling ambiance. However, the emotional conflict between Rosie and Dan remains the film's core, which is okay. Still, it didn’t scream horror until gasping for breath later. Despite this, the film was visually stunning; the overwhelming setting and powerful performances create an unnerving atmosphere that will linger with viewers long after the credits roll.
BRING OUT THE FEAR is engaging, albeit flawed; the film remains a thought-provoking examination of the human psyche and the complexities inherent in a failing relationship. Although the narrative occasionally lags, the film's focus on the atmosphere and psychological troubles keeps viewers engaged. The beauty of the Irish countryside, transformed into a sinister and enigmatic landscape, adds to the overall sense of unease and impending doom.
While having flaws, BRING OUT THE FEAR is a noteworthy debut feature for director Richard Waters. The film highlights his potential as a promising new voice in filmmaking, and it is evident that he possesses a genuine passion for cinema.
Overall, BRING OUT THE FEAR leaves a lasting impression that will have you pondering its themes and messages. With stunning visuals, haunting soundscapes, and emotional performances, it is still worth checking out as a psychological drama.
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[photo courtesy of ENTERTAINMENT SQUAD]