★★★★ of ★★★★★
It’s all fun and games
until when someone dies.
Directed by Vincent Masciale
Horror fan Joe Foster is in a rut. While complaining loudly at a haunted house-style bar that nothing frightens him anymore, a stranger approaches him with a business card for Fear, Inc., a company that creates custom scares. His friend tries to warn him off of the company saying that he’s heard that they actually hurt people. This only endears a very inebriated Joe to try it out. So, when the power suddenly goes out at the party, it is with a large cocaine-infused grin that Joe announces to his friends that he’s called Fear, Inc. and that they are now participating in its sinister game.
Fear, Inc. is a delight. It’s a comedy horror that plays off the characters’ and audiences’ ignorance of what is actually happening. Are they being hunted by killers or is it all a game? Is the company staging elaborate murder scenes or do these home invaders actually want him dead? Regardless of the answer, Joe’s complete childlike exuberance at the things that befall him and the people around him is hilarious. Horror film fans will probably be able to relate, at least on some level, with his pleasure at seeing familiar tropes acted out in real life around him.
I’m not sure why this movie as fared so poorly on IMDb. At one point, I said to a friend who was watching the movie with me, “How bad must the ending be to have a 5.5?” And, the ending, to be honest, wasn’t very good, but considering how much fun I had with the other 80% of the movie, I give this one a must watch. I do advise, however, to avoid the trailer as it contains spoilers.