Film Review: Be Afraid - 2017
Format: Netflix Language: English Released 2017
Director: Drew Gabreski
Starring: Brain Krause, Jaimi Paige, Louis Herthum
*** WARNING MILD SPOILERS ***
Thanks to my insomnia, I had an unplanned horror movie marathon last night. Kirk, however had no trouble sleeping and curled up next to me under his blanket, only stirring to groan at me when I moved to much or kicking me wildly while he dreamed. Sometimes I really do envy his ability to sleep anywhere at any time.
Anyhow, back to the review! Having just joined Netflix, I picked the first horror film I came across, ‘Be Afraid’, and let’s face it, that’s a good title for a horror film.
The film kicks off with a chaotic scene, Dean Booth (Kevin Grevioux) is loading a shotgun ranting about ‘them’ being out there, while his hysterical wife, Christine Booth (Michelle Hurd) is begging him to stop, screaming there is nobody there and it’s just the lightning.
With lightning flashing, thunder roaring and rain pelting the windows of their house, it’s a nice set up for the film. Already bringing conflict as well as questions to the forefront of the viewers mind. The scene finishes with a tragic climax, setting up the theme of the movie and moving to our main family, four years later.
Our host family are the Chambers, successful Father Dr John (Brain Krause), stressed but loving Mother, Heather (Jaimi Paige), ever so slightly annoying youngest son, Nathan (Michael Leone) and a little later, college dropout, eldest son, Ben (Jared Abrahamson). A 'typically normal' American family, who have relocated to a small rural town somewhere in Pennsylvania, for reasons we never really learn or care about, not a bad thing as in the greater scheme of the film as it doesn’t affect the story in the slightest.
The family works, the relationship between the characters is believable and I really did start to care for them. Mainly due to the good writing, in the sense of a family interacting with each other, and the acting and directing. Brain Krause as Dr John, put in a strong leading performance for a film, that if I’m being honest, was a little thin on the ground when it came to plot. Meanwhile the others were above average for a B movie, which of late, is a rare thing indeed.
The slow burning plot did well to bring up the mystery of paranormal happening around the town, while small but creepy scenes kept me interested in what was unfolding on screen. The story itself was odd, full of plot holes and at times made no sense at all, yet none of that really took away from the overall experience of the film.
As expected the Chambers suffer the same tragic circumstances of the Booth family, and it leads to a tense final act. My problem was the built up to this finale, one of the big questions was why these creatures were taking the towns children and why only certain children and not all of them that lived in the town. Major questions that I would expect to be touched upon, at some point in the film but they were simply ignored.
While not really affecting the film, it still left a slightly bitter taste in my mind at the end, not knowing fully what was going on and why. Yet, even with the odd plot hole, the overall pace of the film and an emotionally charged final act, ultimately made up for it and left me satisfied with the experience.
The technical aspects of the film, the acting, directing, editing, sound, cinematography etc, where also strong and really help move the story along, as well as creating a believable world for the whole story to take place. Having said all this, however, the film still only felt average as a result but for a B movie, that in itself, can only be good thing.
If you are looking of a slow burning, slightly creepy horror film with a silly but enjoyable premise, then ‘Be Afraid’ is worth a viewing and will leave you satisfied. However, the following day you may struggle to remember anything other than it being okay.