When horror junkie, Joe Foster, requests the services of a custom scare company, he’s in for the nightmare of his life. But it’s all just a game, right? Or is it?
Imagine for a moment that instead of a high concept thriller directed by David Fincher, The Game was a low budget indie Halloween flick. It’s an apt comparison, and one that Fear Inc. makes itself. What starts as just a high end thrill for a scare fan and his friends turns into something much more devious (or does it) as he starts to wonder if this really is just a game or if he’s gotten himself into something real and terrible. So pretty much The Game. But with Saw references.
Fear Inc. stars pretty much nobody you will recognize save for a cameo by Abigail Breslin, one of the kids from The Sandlot, and that guy from Office Space who always seems to show up in everything. It’s a fun concept though that knowingly rips off one of the more intriguing thrillers I’ve seen. While it’s never quite as clever and captivating as The Game, I will guarantee that – like Clue – very few people will see the final ending coming.
An homage to horror flicks and Fincher, as well as being it’s own thing, Fear Inc. is well thought out and a rather fun ride, though some of the budgetary restraints do prove distracting at times. Some of the effects are rather obvious and cheesy and it is hard to pinpoint whether that’s the case as a plot point (it’s all fake!), or not (it’s all real!). It’s worth noting that the sound mixing, especially during the first act, seems incomplete. I don’t know whether that’s due to an early cut being provided for review or not.
With a bit of surprising social commentary thrown in on top of what many people would probably like to nervously experience themselves – the ultimate haunted house – Fear Inc would make for an excellent Halloween party guest, but while it’s not scary enough to be a true horror movie, it’s not funny enough to really be a comedy either, and doesn’t quite have the skill to straddle that line effectively.
Also on the downside, I think I would have rather been kept guessing on my own, rather than be given the obvious comparison to The Game, which kept me in that mindset, expecting the same outcome in the end, regardless. Sure, I was surprised at times, but I was expecting to be. I think if the filmmakers allowed this one to truly stand on it’s own without that bit of a crutch, it could have been a fantastic hidden gem, but good intentions don’t always pan out. As it stands, decent, maybe even pretty good for what it is, but the movie wishes it was a lot better than it is.
Brother Hamster did not screen this film
Mrs. Hamster says:
“Ok, but not that scary.”
My rating: Two out of five hats
Fear Inc. scares up homes via VOD October 21