Monday, October 3, 2016

Movie Review: "Fear, Inc." (SDiFF 2016)

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Movie"Fear, Inc."
Director: Vince Masciale
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Huge horror fan Joe Foster (Lucas Neff) hires a company called Fear Inc. to deliver a frightening experience customized just for him. As the game starts, things quickly spiral out of control, and there may be no way to stop the brutal, vicious outcome he himself asked for.

"Fear, Inc." is horror comedy directed by Vince Masciale and is written by Luke Barnett. It stars Lucas Neff as Joe Foster, a bit of a slacker who lives off of his wealthy girlfriend Lindsey, played by Caitlin Stasey, and has a deep, unabashed love for all things horror. On their date night, Joe takes Caitlin to a haunted house, though Joe finds it to be extremely predictable and utterly underwhelming. He wants true scares in his life, which he just isn't getting from pithy little haunted houses. Immediately after saying this out loud, a creepy man, played by Patrick Renna, walks up to him and gives him a business card for Fear, Inc., a company that specializes in custom frights catered to every individual who dares try their services. On a night when his childhood friend Ben, played by Chris Marquette, and his wife Ashleigh, played by Stephanie Drake, come to town, following many alcoholic beverages and a large consumption of pot, Joe decides to call Fear, Inc., unknowingly setting the experience in motion. At first, Joe just thinks it's all a game, but as things start to get more and more crazy, Joe begins to believe he and his friends are in real danger.

We are delighted to say "Fear, Inc." is a ton of fun! It finds a great balance between delivering laughs and ample amounts of gore and horror. The movie pays homage to numerous classic horror films through Joe's Fear, Inc. experience since he is a horror buff and it is tailored just for him. Audience members who are horror fans will get these many references, though Joe is happy to point a few of them out for us in a couple of lines of exposition. Director Vince Masciale gives the audience a little bit of what to expect early on in a cold start segment featuring Abigail Breslin as a Fear, Inc. customer at the end of her experience. Even though we have this extra information, we are never totally sure throughout the duration of the film if this is all a game or is it real. It manages to create a lot of dark humor through this uncertainty. One of our favorite aspects about this film is the entire look of it. Though "Fear, Inc." is a low budget movie, it still rivals many other big budget flicks in the makeup and gore effects department. Both are pretty brilliantly executed.

As we mentioned above, "Fear, Inc." will satisfy horror lovers and is the perfect choice for a pre-Halloween flick. It is a breezy, awesomely gory, well paced slasher with an interesting concept and we had a whole lot of fun watching it.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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