Offering up an Irish take on the ‘folk horror’ genre that seems to be having something of a revival, Bring Out The Fear sees Frightfest fan (and New Blood alumni) Richard Waters bring his latest project to the festival.

Waters acts as writer and director here, giving us a tale of Rosie (Ciara Bailey) and Dan (Tad Morari), a couple of on/off lovers who head into the woods for a day’s walking, with Dan keen to spend some quality time with Rosie – and even move their relationship to the next level.

But as the hours drag on, the pair find they cannot seem to find their way back out – compasses fail, there’s no phone signal and they seem to be going round in circles.

Even worse, there is the very real feeling that they may not actually be alone…

There are all sorts of influences thrown into the mix here, from the obvious Blair Witch shenanigans through to British offerings like The Hallows, Shrooms, In Fear and even a dash of the recent In The Earth.

And while writer/director Waters taps into those ‘lost in the woods’ fears pretty nicely, laying on the paranoia thickly, there is one major problem.

For a film like this to work, which is essentially two characters walking around for an hour in peril, you need to feel something for those characters, or to at least identify with them in some way.

And, the sad truth is, in Bring Out The Fear you don’t – and I mean really, really don’t.

For starters, Morari’s Dan is nothing more than a wet blanket of a character – ineffective, indecisive and practically nondescript. On the other hand, Bailey’s Rosie is desperately annoying and thoroughly dislikeable – foul-mouthed, aggressive and selfish. There really is no reason given in the screenplay as to why this pair would be in a relationship together – or even want to be in a relationship together.

Hampered significantly by that, you just sit and watch Bring Out The Fear really – you admire the location scenery and the camerawork (Waters clearly has talent), but have no real interest in what happens or how it ends.

The whole things runs pretty short – and you won’t feel like you have wasted your time – but let’s hope Waters has a better showcase for his talents next time out.

Arrow Video Frightfest Review: Bring Out The Fear
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About The Author

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Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle