Nothing Left to Fear (2013/DVD/ Anchor Bay Ent) Review

Most of modern horror, I can’t stand. The monsters, the psychos, the Nine Inch Nails. Directed by either rock stars or first-time directors, it feels like a carnival and the trick never touches deeper than the blood. With digital, modern effects, and the world we live, a large sum rubs like Syfy or snuff. Buckets of blood, an arm here, a leg there, one wonders. Is it story or sensation that drives us? And are we any more than pervs?

Screams are universal. We laugh, we cry, we fret, we dream. Film is a clay where anything is possible as long as someone believes. Anyone. It could be the hair dresser, the electrician, the makeup artist, the faith is what matters. The motions are right as long as discovery and the journey find its way. It must act on its own. The genre is a treadmill. The track is set and there’s the meat. My pain never leaves with more and more shrimp on the barbie.

I can be wrong. Good films drop occasionally. Nothing Left to Fear is a rare exception. Not expecting much, my head fell for the hook. Atmosphere. Duel, Jeepers Creepers, The Children of the Corn, the isolated community, the unwitting victims. Southern Gothic marinades Twilight. Silhouettes, creepy cakes, imagine the Brady Bunch meets The Exorcist. Add Clancy Brown, layer some Anne Heche, and sprinkle some new age oohs and awes and you have yourself a movie. The Conjuring only cheaper.
The plot clings to Rebecca (Rebekah Brandes). Moving to Stull with her family, she eyes a stranger. Chopping up sheep, he glares with a strange glow. Becca and Noah (Ethan Peck) fall in love and the film goes south from there. Superficial, shooing off movers, no one seems to want strangers. The kindness is only skin deep. Except for Noah, the film coasts a fine line and half the fun is seeing where it goes. Those expecting The Vanishing or Clarice miss the point.
This is convention not Frailty. The surprise is how it gets there. Certain things are a given. Much as we expect Kelly to dance or Clint to squint, the pleasure swells from the cooking. The smells, the ingredients, we ache for the menu. We crave what we crave. The trappings limit the options. Chocolate ends in tooth decay. Bodies, screams, Agatha Christie, horror sets the mold. Ten Little Indians clobbers The Karate Kid. Loss and slaughter are Hamburger Helper. Just pour in the innocence and off you go.
One by one, the goose is cooked. Scream leaked the secret. The story toys with the order. We forget sometimes. The rules live. What we expect is tripped by events. Not everyone dies, big or small the reasons sting. No surrender, no parry, the wrath never bends. This isn’t Cinderella. “Resistance is futile.” There is no irony. The barrier wields little movement. Stuck between a rock and hard place, the opening repeats. What’s left? “Only your undertaker knows for sure.”
Anchor Bay’s disc is amazing. The video upgrades with near HD quality. Mud, mascara, rotting flesh, nothing is out of place. The image is clean. The audio is a Dolby 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Creepy when needed, the surround blisters the speakers. As for supplements, a commentary with the director, producer, and co-scorers, a 16 minute behind the scenes, and trailers from Anchor Bay round out the package. Altogether a good deal and a must for those who love horror.

                                                        This is a 4 out of a 5 scalpels.

 -- B.L. Matthews

Director: Anthony Leonardi III
Lead Actor/Actress: Clancy Brown
Genre: Horror
DVD Release Year: 2013
Theatrical Release Year: 2013
Time Length: 100 minutes
Rating: R
Region Code: A
Release Company: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Website: www.anchorbayent.com
This is a 3.5 out of a 5 scalpels.