In Fear is a low-budget British horror film that is at times genuinely frightening. Less ambitious than The Shining, yes, but I found it at least as impressive, partly because writer and director Jeremy Lovering was wise enough to keep the film short - it's just 84 minutes long, and perhaps could have been cut even more ruthlessly - there are only three characters, and the storyline is restricted in terms of both time and place.
Tom (Iain De Caestecker) has been going out with Lucy (Alice Englert) for just two weeks. He's taking her to a music festival, but springs a surprise on her - he's booked them into a hotel before they reach the festival. She agrees to accompany him, but an incident in a pub (the setting is Ireland, though the film was shot in Cornwall and Devon) in which Tom gets involved in a contretemps with some locals, is rather unsettling.
Off they drive to the hotel, but soon they get lost. Round and round the narrow country lanes they go, following signs that seem to lead nowhere. And is someone watching them, enjoying their discomfort? The sat nav is on the blink, the hotel isn't answering the phone, and the petrol is running low. Soon bad things start to happen....
I have vivid memories of a beautiful evening which I spent driving in Ireland's Wicklow Mountains with my family a good few years ago. Incompetently, I got lost - and as I drove round and round the narrow country lanes, my petrol started to run low....so I really did find it easy to empathise with Tom and Lucy's plight. I'm not suggesting this film is a masterpiece, but Englert's performance in particular is excellent, and a creepy soundtrack enhances the fear factor. Well worth watching.