by Barry Meyer
How far can you go? From Echelon Entertainment.
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Instead of studying, partying, and worrying about who to take to the prom, the teens in Fear Itself get off on playing nasty pranks on anyone who crosses their path. Soon their bullying egos cannot be satisfied by childish pranks alone, so the gang amps up the ante by tailoring their pranks to prey upon their victim’s worst fears. After one of their foolish pranks goes fatally wrong, these meddling kids will have to face the consequences that their not-so-playful tricks bring.
Fear Itself is another one of those straight-to-video indie fanboy slasher flicks made by kids who feed off a regular diet of Sam Raimi and George Romero gore, and love those flicks so much that just wanna make one themselves. This brand of fanboy cinema can prove to be real cumbersome, mainly because fanboys, by definition, are first and foremost fans; and secondly (or mostly never) — storytellers. The problem is they use their favorite movies more for fodder than inspiration, wasting their efforts on emulating the other real horror flicks that they love, instead of forging ahead and creating something remotely original or at least just giving a genuine go at it.
I will give Fear one point in the plus column, though. After pretty much going about itself as an I Know What You Screamed Last Summer style knock-off, they did try and give the standard teen horror climax an unorthodox twist. It’s not enough to sell the movie on, but it shows that they had put some thought into the project. Overall, this flick is just fanboys fooling around, turning out an experiment in how to play with a camera and actors. One can only hope they learned from their project, and put out some better stories next time around.
If you like badly mic’d, poorly edited, shoddy hand-held lensed, but competently acted backyard movie making, then this movie is for you.
Barry Meyer is a writer living in slo-mo out Jersey way.
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