The Fear Revival is the first film by writer/director Marc Jeffrey Schetter and with a fairly short runtime of just under 15 minutes, it’s a noble effort (and free to watch on Vimeo). The script is lean, getting right into the action after a very casual introduction as Colin (Patrick Jones) and Liam (Jake Kopronica) stand on the front porch of a cabin in the woods, chatting about how great it is to get away from civilization for a while. And then things go to shit. Inside, Rachel (Gina Ferraro) has collapsed, bleeding from her nose, and Christine (Noelle Taylor) is freaking out about it. Liam and Christine make a run for the nearby ranger’s station while Colin tries to comfort a delirious Rachel. Oh, wait. That’s when things go to shit. I mean, like Satanic Ritual and Summoning the Devil kinds of going to shit. And not everyone is going to make it out alive. The Fear Revival was partially funded through an Indiegogo campaign (Full disclosure: I was a contributor!) which unfortunately didn’t get anywhere near the desired goal, but with a healthy chunk of the filmmakers’ own money already earmarked for the project, the production quality shows. The lighting and sound design is solid, particularly for a first-time effort, and even if the script and performances hadn’t been up to snuff, The Fear Revival was still going to look like a high-quality piece of work. The effects are solid, with one extremely gory set-piece shot that relies on practical effects to really drive the gruesome horror home. I was really hoping for more of this, but unfortunately, the lack of budget and short runtime made that virtually impossible. The performances aren’t what one would normally expect from a low-budget short. Jones and Kopronica aren’t given a lot to do overall, and the opening scene is a little awkward, but after that, both actors relax into their characters and Jones, in particular, sells the experience. Ferraro and guest-star Kyle Hotz as the High Priest are the highlights, with Holtz really establishing himself as a threat I wanted to see more of. The weakest link, however, is Taylor in what becomes the central role. I’m not sure if it’s an issue with the script, if she’s just not comfortable with the material, or if she just lacks experience. Regardless, her performance comes off as amateurish and not quite what the part really needed to create sympathy with the audience. The script itself has more strengths than weaknesses and could have benefitted from another ten minutes or so to really flesh out the threat and build more tension. As it is, we have a tightly-paced, bare-bones story that does a decent job establishing the scene, building tension, and providing a nicely evocative finale. I’d be lying, though, if I didn’t admit to being left wanting. Even a brief, post-credit flash of something horrible would have been welcome. As it is, the ending felt a little unfinished and I couldn’t help but wonder what could have been if the Indiegogo campaign had brought in more money. Overall, The Fear Revival is a fun little peek at what could be. Schetter’s first time behind the camera gives viewers a sweet taste of what he could do with a larger budget and a longer runtime. I, for one, will be very interested in seeing what he does next. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.