Nothing Left To Fear is a new supernatural horror film from Anchor Bay Entertainment, released on October 8, 2013. What makes it a unique entry into the genre is that it is the first film produced by former Guns N’ Roses guitarist and legendary musician ‘Slash’. The master stringer is not the first rock star to get involved in making horror films (i.e. Rob Zombie), but clearly the intent is to make his mark with his production company Ingenious Slasher.
Fear is generally inspired by the legends of Stull, Kansas and takes those myths to craft its own tale. The film follows a family of five uprooting their lives and moving to Stull, in which the father is set to become the town’s new pastor over the town’s retiring man of faith (Highlander’s Clancy Brown). But after only a few days, the family is subjected to a series of dark occurrences and a massive conspiracy secret implemented by the townspeople which threatens their lives and their souls.
On the positive side of things, Fear has a pretty haunting story, compounded by the fact that it’s the children within the family who wind up suffering the most. Horror films that are not afraid to subject children to the repercussions of the events (i.e. The Exorcist) tend to have more raw effect and in that regard Fear has some impact.
Where the movie ultimately fails is in the over-all storytelling. For a horror film, Fear has an incredibly tough time building suspense, being scary and generally engaging a viewer into the story. The movie lacks serious energy and is stretched into almost mind-numbing banality. It doesn’t help that much of the acting is mediocre and laughable.
Another noticeable flaw in Fear is its stars, real-life couple Anne Heche and James Tupper. As the parents, they are never an integral factor within the film and seem like a wasted opportunity for some depth. And while Fear contains some neat make-up FX, a lot of the visual FX will seem redundant if you’re familiar with The Grunge.
The technical presentation on Blu-ray HD is a mixed bag. Visually, Nothing Left To Fear’s picture quality is crystal clear, bright and extremely detailed. It will dazzle on a high-definition television image. Audibly, the Blu-ray disc houses a Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 track which by definition one would figure is incredibly immersed. The track is strong, but unbalanced at times, affecting the clarity of dialogue in several instances.
The bonus material adds a bit of flavour to the edition, featuring a commentary track with Director Anthony Leonard III, Composer Nicholas O’Toole and Producer/Composer Slash himself. The track is a good one to listen to, especially with Slash’s participation. The guitarist is always an engaging personality and his thoughts on the film and the business are enlightening. A half-decent behind-the-scenes segment is also attached and the edition has a standard DVD copy of the film on top of the Blu-ray.
Nothing Left To Fear has incredible potential as a horror film but it’s absence of storytelling nuance and energy bogs it down into abysmal mediocrity and a wasted opportunity. While it contains some haunting impact with children in peril, the over-all result is an experience of sheer boredom. Horror fans and Slash as a Producer may find they could do far better by kicking this one to the curb and moving on.