Nothing Left To Fear (2013) – Anthony Leonardi III

 

Anchor Bay sent a long Nothing To Fear for me to take a look at this week, it’s getting a lot of chatter because it is being produced by legendary rocker Slash and his production company.  In the film’s special features Slash voices an opinion of horror movies that I quite agree with, the scarier ones aren’t scary because of the gore, which undeniably has its place, they get under your skin with the their stories and their characters, and that is what he hopes to do with his company.

For me though, this one came across as a swing and a miss on the part of the film. The story is inspired by the ‘legend’ of Stull, Kansas (more on that in a moment), and follows a pastor Dan (James Tupper), his wife Wendy (Anne Heche) and their family, Rebecca (Rebekah Brandes), Mary (Jennifer Stone), and young Christopher (Carter Cabassa) as they arrive in the small town to administer to the town’s spiritual needs now that their own pastor Kingsman (Clancy Brown), is preparing to step down.

Unfortunately, it all seems to be a ruse in an attempt to bring a fresh sacrifice to the town to help keep a demonic force that has a gateway in the town at bay.

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Despite their billing neither Anne Heche nor Clancy Brown are allowed a lot of screen time, it is in fact focused more on the younger actors, and they aren’t given much to work with, and one of them Noah (Ethan Peck), seems downright robotic.

No sooner has the pastor and his family moved in than one daughter is selected as The Vessel, and the other is suffering from horrifying visions.

And while we’re talking about visions and being the vessel, I don’t understand why every commercial horror film of late have to have possession and ghostly images conveyed in the same way – hollowed, blacked-out eyes, and the impossibly elongated jaw…

There’s not much in this one that you haven’t seen before. The things I did like about it were Clancy Brown (always awesome) and the idea of the creeping darkness that spreads out from the possessed daughter.

This is a could have been film.

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And honestly I would have loved to have it actually focus on the ‘legend’ of Stull, undoubtedly created by Kansas university students to scare one another, as they spend drunken nights in Stull’s cemetery. There was, it was destroyed in 2002, a roofless church that stood in the graveyard that was rumored to be used in occult rituals as well as devil-worship, and close by, though apparently difficult to find, was a stairway leading deep into the ground, so deep in fact that it is actually one of the seven gateways of hell. According to the story, the devil climbs those stairs on the Spring Equinox and Halloween, to watch over the grave of a witch that he had a child with. It’s also rumored that if you walk down the stairs far enough, you may be grabbed by unseen forces and dragged to the depths of hell.

Tell me that doesn’t have the potential for a spooky film, if done right.

Perhaps, now that Slash has produced his first feature, he’ll continue to churn them out and will continue to refine this craft as he did his fantastic guitar skills!

Nothing Left To Fear is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray.

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