“Know Fear” is a grisly haunted house story distinguished mainly in the extensive use of the sound effect of a knife plunging into flesh.
“CHUCK CHUCK CHUCK squish squish squish.”
It’s a short thriller that tosses us right into “the ritual,” blood spilled on the pages of an ancient book of Latin incantations. “The ritual” isn’t explained, and in that first scene, we have to wonder if it does anybody any good.
But then that family is “gone,” The “For Sale” sign goes up and “SOLD” is scrawled on it, and hey — the book comes with the house.
Strange noises in the walls spook Wendy (Amy Carlson), the new owner who finds it. Husband Donald (David Alan Basche) can’t hear the creaking, cracking noises or whispers. At first.
But Wendy is quickly taken over by…something. A horror moment of grim suspense? Watching her half-decide (as if she has any control) to stick her hand in a pan of frying meat.
When whatever has hold of the house gets visiting niece (Mallory Bechtel), an amateur ghost hunter, nephew Charlie (Jack DiFalco) and Wendy’s graduate assistant (Meeya Davis) indoors and traps them, “Know Fear” gets down to business.
Who will survive? Who can read Latin? And why can’t everyone “see” or “hear” what the demon is doing?
“You can’t possibly believe any of this,” is Donald’s response. But he catches on.
The bizarre selective “Why can’t you see what I see?” vs. “Why can’t you hear what I hear?” gimmick doesn’t pay off. There’s more describing than actually showing what they face and the sounds it makes.
The script leaves a lot out, the acting is competent — everybody pants in fear when appropriate — if not compelling. The direction limits the gimmicks to a single yanked-out-of-the-frame shot and the script is most concerned about not wasting a moment between the next application of that knife-plunging-into-flesh effect.
“CHUCK CHUCK CHUCK…”
To “Know Fear” is to hear that over and over again, I guess.
MPA Rating: unrated, bloody, gurgling graphic violence
Cast: Amy Carlson, David Alan Basche, Mallory Bechtel, Meeya Davis and Jack DiFalco
Credits: Directed by Jamison M. LoCascio, script by Adam Ambrosio, Jamison M. LoCascio. A Terror Films release.
Running time: 1:17