Good evening fellow horror fanatics! Tonight we will be checking out a film titled BE AFRAID written by Gerald Nott and directed by Drew Gabreski. To get you better acquainted with the film, I'll turn to the plot description from IMDB:
"Not long after John Chambers and his family arrive at their new home in a small country town of Pennsylvania, John begins to experience sleep paralysis. Lying there paralyzed, trapped within his own nightmare, other-worldly beings visit John. They are entities which exist in the darkest shadows of the night and can only be seen out of the corner of one's eye. These encounters begin to haunt John, transforming to complete terror as he discovers the entities' sole purpose... the abduction of his seven year old son. In the end, John will uncover the town's horrific secret, a portal on his land, and make one last attempt to save his son before the shadow people permanently take him away to their world."
Having read prior to viewing that this film involved sleep paralysis as a contributing factor to the terror, I was highly interested considering I've seen little to no films involving sleep paralysis. The film opens in a very intense manner. A husband/father, Dean Booth (Kevin Grevioux), is frantically prepping for some sort of attack as he loads his gun and enters what I would call a "nope zone", which is actually a cornfield. NOPE! Although using cornfields as an element in horror films is played out, I still found it very effective and it added a layer of creepy atmosphere.
Shortly after, we're introduced to Dr. John Chambers (Brian Krause, "Charmed", "Sleepwalkers"), whom has moved to this new house with his wife Heather and son Nathan. We're also introduced to Ben Chambers (Jared Abrahamson) who has a bit of a tattered relationship with his family and generally only makes contact when he needs money. For me in films, these type of relationships build a strong connection between the audience and the characters. Unless the characters are totally shitty, in which case you could care less what happens to them. You also see some romance brewing between Ben Chambers and Nikki Collins (Noell Coet), which plays a bit into the plot but not too heavily.
The effects team did a fairly excellent job making everything appear so smooth even though you never really get a full on look at the supernatural element or creature in the film. It's mostly shown through the use of shadows, silhouettes and distorted creepy camera angles. There's a scene I found to be particularly gross involving sleep paralysis in a bathtub. Shadow creatures plus drowning equals NOPE.
Not being privy to sleep paralysis as aforementioned, that entire element, in addition to the supernatural happenings, actually blended together very well for me. It was creepy, surprising, and effective. The whole sleep paralysis element, along with seeing the same shapes or figures of a man standing over people watching them sleep, is another element that is consistently brought up throughout the film.
There's no true resolution in the film aside from the return of a mission person, which seems to be the primary scare factor in the film. However, there is a twist at the end of the film which I was not actually anticipating. It was actually kind of sad but also scary at the same time. Overall, I did enjoy BE AFRAID because it was a fun film. It totally meshes perfectly with the current popularity that is circulating within the horror genre. I would recommend it to fans of films like THE BYE BYE MAN, INSIDIOUS, or THE CONJURING.
Signing off, this is Devin,
Kreep it real Haunted Homies!
BE AFRAID will be available On Demand and Digital Release June 1st, 2017.