Irrational Fear (2017): 4 out of 10: A van full of psychiatric patients with irrational fears joins a psychology professor (Charles Chudabala) and his protégé TA (Baker Chase Powell) for a weekend retreat to cure them. But could the psych professor himself be as crazy as his patients?
The Good: I am not sure if Charles Chudabala gives a fantastic performance as the doctor or a horrible one. I am honestly not clear about what he was going for? Either way, it was interesting. (Which is a win in my book).
There are a couple of other interesting things going on once we get past our opening sequence (see ugly below). We have characters die early that a long time horror movie watcher would have picked as the final girl. We have characters survive that in a regular horror film would never see the second reel. That alone is worth a few points.
Irrational Fear’s soundtrack (Dylan Curzon) is decent for this kind of film. While the rest of the acting will not cause Daniel Day-Lewis to look over his shoulder, it is certainly passable for this kind of affair. At least things happen in Irrational Fear. This is no Terror at Tenkiller.
The Bad: Remember when you saw Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane and said to yourself, man I cannot believe they shot this on an iPhone? Irrational fear is one of those movies where you will also be saying, man, I cannot believe they shot this on an iPhone. Just with a different tone to your voice.
So yes, there is some shaky cam with a feeling that the movie was filmed on whoever’s phone was charged at the moment. The gore effects are lacking and there are no nudity or action scenes to spice things up.
The Ugly: The opening sequence of irrational Fear is so bad I almost didn’t continue. With really poor camera work and an irrational kill. (Self inflicted knitting needle through the skull. How exactly?) It is so bad my own irrational fear of terrible homemade movies was in full panic mode.
In Conclusion: Irrational Fear is let down by a non-existent budget and some dodgy cinematography. (Not to mention all the sets are someone’s cabin or a community college). Outside of the budgetary issues, the script really doesn’t have much of a twist. Some good ideas that are never fully baked and the lack of exploitation hurts such an effort. However, if you can make it past the first five minutes, there are some interesting pieces and performances here and there.