As a Prelude to Fear (2021) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

As a Prelude to Fear (2021) Review

Horrorific content by Mondo_Squallido on November 03rd, 2021 | Movie Review | Mystery, Serial Killer, Maniac, Isolation, Torture

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When a young cellist called Eve Taylor gets kidnapped and imprisoned in a dungeon-like basement, Police Detective Barnbrooke believes it is the work of the notorious psychopath the media has named the Pied Piper.

As a Prelude to Fear was directed by Steve Du Melo (also directed C.A.M)  and stars Lara Lemon, Francis Magee (from The Calling), Lucy Drive (from House of Evil) and Jamie Langlands.

Monsters come in all shapes and sizes

As a Prelude to Fear Review

Eve (Lara Lemon) is a young, beautiful and talented cellist. After reluctantly being dropped off at a cafe by her concerned boyfriend Jamie (Jamie Langlands), she receives a call from her new teacher to meet him at a nearby abandoned farmhouse. Naively, she agrees and upon her arrival she is drugged and taken captive by a mysterious disguised man. Just before being attacked, Eve tries to call Jamie and naturally concerned, Jamie goes straight to the police. D.S Dobson (Lucy Drive) and DCS Barnbrook (Francis Macgee) are on the case straight away. Barnbrook has his own reasons for taking the case as it fits the profile of “The Pied Piper”, a man suspected of abducting girls, but was never convicted. Will Barnbrook's person vendetta help in finally catching the Pied Piper? Will Eve be able find the perfect opportunity to make her escape? Will Jamie be able to save the love of his life or will the infamous Pied Piper (if it's even him!) add another victim to his list?

All in all, As a Prelude to Fear is a modest piece of low budget British horror. It's a little bit rough round the edges, but considering this is only Du Melo's 2nd feature film, I think it's a film to be proud of. The story is fairly simple with some nice twists and turns that don't come across as lazy or too far-fetched as can happen with films (both low budget and big budget) like this. The final third of the film is genuinely tense and well executed and the payoff is definitely worth the investment. The one thing I would say is that the acting for most part perfect for the tone of the film, but there are some instances of really over the top and clumsy acting. Sometimes, the script itself can also be a bit clumsy and amateurish, especially when it comes to the character of Jamie. There are also some unnecessary pieces of cheap comic relief in the form of the cafe owner. She only wants to sell some coffee, tea or donuts for Christ's sake, so we can let her off.

If you like a bit of police procedural in your horror, you're definitely getting it with this film and for me, Francis Macgee's portrayal of the jaded, disheartened and often nihilistic detective chief superintendent is the star of the show. Lara Lemon also puts in a genuinely great performance as the captive Eve, a character who you are genuinely rooting for. Another aspect I really enjoyed was the overall set design in the makeshift prison setting and big respect to all those involved for actually being able to make the police officers in the film look like real police officers and not like normies donned in glorified fancy dress. There is also some really well done and utilised drone shots which help give what is already top notch looking production value that little bit of an edge.

Worth Watching?

As I said, a far from perfect film, but definitely worth your time and a good foundation for what could be a fantastic career for Steph Du Melo.

As a Prelude to Fear Review (2021) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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