In Fear Of (Season 2) (2015) – By Kyle Hytonen

In Fear Of, an independent horror web series from Slick Devil Entertainment is quite an accomplishment anyway you look at. Created by Scott W Perry (who also wrote/directed 6 of this season’s episodes), Season 2 features 14 episodes: some great, some good, some passable, all that hold a common theme. Each episode features at its core a documented fear to propel its story. From fear of aging, deformity and being buried alive, there are a lot of fears that we can posses and this series takes a macabre spin on all of them. Overall I enjoyed the series, as an accomplishment for weaving 14 congruent stories together, a short film factory if you may. Some episodes boast terrific production value and performances, while others are stuck in indie film trapping of low budget fare. Some episodes, had little bit of both, but still stuck out for me as some of the finest examples of the series.  

Agoraphobia: Fear of Sexual Harassment

Episode 5 is an entertaining little homage to the goofy mid 80’s slashers of the VHS era. Set in 1986, Nina, a young nubile secretary with a shock of bouffant blonde hair (Genoveva Rossi), works alone at night in an empty office building. After retrieving her trusty floppy disc from her car she is accosted by Martin (Bradley Creanzo, also writer/director), a man who is hell bent on seeking revenge on Nina for getting him fired due to sexual harassment. What ensues is a fun, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink “final girl” style battle between hero and villain. Everyone involved seems to be having fun with this one, and it seems to stick out from the majority of the episodes that seem to be dealt with such a heavy hand.  This episode features a great high contrast primary lighting style, a standard of the genre and era. It also boasts an enjoyable synth score and some of the finest hair this side of Motley Crue.

Agraphobia: Fear of Being Bound

Katrina (Kaylee Williams) is a bit reluctant to meet the new photographer for her next modeling gig, but she does so with haste. Her photographer (Adam Ginsberg) is a soft spoken, shy and gentle man who seems just as nervous as Katrina during the shoot. Things start to get intense for Katrina when the photographer wants to add a few chains and some rope to the shoot and tie her up for some poses. Katrina quickly flashes her memory back to being bound in a similar fashion by a violent intruder some time in the past. The intruder is a masked maniac, diabolical and vicious, who may or may not bear a strong resemblance to the photographer tying up Katrina now. As Katrina’s demons come back to haunt her, she may not be able to take this situation again without fighting back. Episode 9 in the series is a very quickly paced and well orchestrated piece with a terrific use of all of horror’s great elements. Both leads, Williams and Ginsberg give great performances in the film, Ginsberg a standout for his Jekyll & Hyde-like performance in both present time and flashback. The music ramps up tension in the right spots, editing is paced well and there is a decent portion of gore put to good effect. There were a few sound issues with reverberating dialogue in the segment’s opening but overall this is a great example of what the series is trying to achieve.

Toxiphobia: Fear of Being Poisoned  

A young married couple sit down for what will hopefully be an enjoyable dinner together. The husband (Pete Mizzo) seems to dote on his lovely wife (Kelly Rae LeGault) as he pours the wine and doles out the pasta. The wife however seems to have her nails clenched on the tablecloth in anxiety at the accoutrement on the table. The wife seems to have a crippling fear of what her husband is bringing her to enjoy, that he may be secretly poisoning her. As episode 2 progresses it seems that the wife has been cursed by a gypsy witch with the direct intention of making her believe she is being poisoned by her husband. This curse takes over and it leads to a showdown between the young married couple. At its surface this segment may seem like it should be taken literally, with the visuals intercutting the witch (Manoush) advancing her spells while the wife sits in agony. As the episode progresses, the design and structure of the film may lead one to believe that writer/director Thomas Norman is trying to say more with the images of this witch. These images may be fabricated inside the head of the wife. What might be perceived as devilry and witchcraft may just be downright paranoia and mental illness. Whatever the case may be, those elements are, paired with terrific work from both leads Rizzo and LeGault, make this episode one of the standouts in Season 2.

In Fear Of is now available to rent or purchase on Vimeo On Demand. You can get the entire series right now at http://vimeo.com/ondemand/infearof. More info is available here: http://www.facebook.com/InFearOf