Watchable Low-Budget Horror-Fare…
Because I write film reviews daily, sometimes several times per day, and horror making up the majority of the movies I critique, I thought I had gotten away with an entire week without writing the same premise I find myself writing at the very least once in a seven-day period, it turned out it was too good to be true. I am of course referring to the same tiresome group of five (occasionally this number varies, but rarely) friends who take it upon themselves to go camping/hiking/partying in the woods, where they find themselves being picked off one by one, by a killer of some description. Occasionally, the killer/killers have masks/axes/grudges/mental-illness/and or mother issues too.
While not all-of-the-above are part of the premise for Fear Lives Here, the basics are all present and correct. To top it all off, we have a car that breaks down at an inopportune moment; a dork with a handheld camera (that no one even wanted to come, yet he invited himself anyway); obligatory Asian person (apparently, yellow is the new black), and the killer is a bit younger than we’re used to seeing, more in keeping with Japanese cinema lore. Apart from that, it’s same old same old, but at least the “hot chicks,” and being a red-blooded male, as always, are to my liking.
This is first-time director, Michael Gordon’s opening salvo in film and I must say, even with the rather clichéd effort, I was suitably impressed with his general handling of Fear Lives Here, given that he managed to wear five hats in putting this film together. Not only did Gordon write and direct; he also filmed and produced it. Thankfully he left the editing to John Alperti, otherwise I’m sure all his hard work would have been a tad less effective, as I’ve witnessed many times before when a director decides to take on too much. Editing should, in most cases be left to someone else, in my opinion.
The acting was another thing I found quite good as the cast each put in decent performances, which all helped keep up the sense of tension and semi-realism. Considering none of the cast are seasoned performers, I thought they handled themselves well enough in this low-budget effort and I hope they get some recognition for their work in this little film. I’ve seen a lot worse from actors who are supposed to know what they’re about. For what this film is and the fact it was done on a shoestring budget it turned out quite well, and kept me entertained for the 80-minutes running time.
by Nav Qateel