Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way now: F.E.A.R., written by star Jason Tobias, is populated by some of the stupidest characters ever to grace a survival-horror tale. How the central family did not die off right away will forever remain a mystery. Can the style of co-directors Tobias and Geoff Reisner offer audiences enough to chew on to distract them from the asininity on display?
The Allisters — father Ethan (Jason Tobias), mother Joe (Marci Miller), son Josh (Danny Ruiz), and daughter Mia (Cece Kelly) — were on the wrong side when a wall was erected around the Pacific Northwest in an effort to control a plague turning citizens into zombies. Now, they forage for scraps in the woods or search abandoned homes in hopes of finding food, gas, and other items to stockpile for survival. After a particularly close call with a zombie, something even worse roams into their homestead.
“After a particularly close call with a zombie, something even worse roams into their homestead.”
Scavengers Dez (Susan Moore Harmon) and Lincoln (Justin Dray) show up to kill the Allisters and take everything they can carry in hopes of just seeing one more sunrise. But things go pear-shaped for the invaders, as Ethan and Joe have a secret regarding their daughter, one that threatens to kill everyone in the vicinity. Between the zombies, violent scroungers, and family secrets, how can anyone hope to survive the harshness of this post-apocalypse?
The opening scene of F.E.A.R. sees Ethan and Josh out on a supply run when they stop to take down a zombie. The young child misses the head, so the father tries to take it down with a bow and arrow. Eventually, they manage to ground the undead being, but Josh hesitates in delivering the killing blow to the head. This is all well and good, as he is only a child. But Ethan, instead of instantly swooping in and ensuring safety, talks to his child for a moment before finishing him off. Why? Because he is stupid. Inevitably, the zombie is not dead and easily, though briefly, overpowers Ethan.
"…the parts are greater than the sum..."