By Merle Bertrand | November 22, 1999

Camden (Robert C. Sabin) and Randy (Tommy Sweeney) may be the perfect roommates. After all, Camden suffers from agoraphobia — the fear of open spaces — and hasn’t left his apartment in the ten years since his parents were gunned down just outside the door. On the other hand, Randy — who’s such a swell fellow, he hires a prostitute to de-virginize his new roomie and has the courtesy to leave the apartment when Camden’s new girlfriend Julie (Peggy Crown) visits — has, endured claustrophobia ever since his mother locked him in a closet when he was a kid. In other words, Camden is always home while Randy rarely is. Of course, the fact that Randy has an alarming, over-protective tendency to murder everyone who comes into contact with Camden could potentially put a serious crimp in their newfound friendship.
While Greg Lamberson’s “Naked Fear” is a fairly average, basically competent video feature, his script leaves a lot to be desired. Clumsily force-feeding us far too much exposition on the one hand while blithely skating over several key moments on the other, the script’s amateurish nature hurts the film far more than the fact that it was shot on video. In one scene, for example, an anguished Julie informs Camden she was date-raped. Camden tells her he’d never hurt her. “I know,” she replies, takes him by the hand and leads him to the bedroom! I guess maybe it wasn’t such a big deal after all. Similarly, Lamberson seriously underplays the triumphant moment when Camden overcomes his fear of the outside. Okay, an obnoxiously screeching pack of violins would be a bit much, but Cam just sort of steps outside and he’s on his way. In spite of these flaws, Lamberson definitely shows promise with “Naked Fear,” a very near-miss that’s still a surprisingly watchable, occasionally even engaging no-frills video. I’ve certainly seen a lot worse, including a number of much higher-budgeted, shot-on-film movies. He just needs to knuckle down and tighten up his storytelling in the future and the rest will follow.

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