B Movie Glory: Be Afraid

Be Afraid is a big, bold title for a horror film and despite it being a relatively low budget effort that skirts the boundaries of outright B grade quality, there were a few moments that did come very close to being truly, impressively scary. The story sees the residents of a sleepy rural county in Pennsylvania preyed upon by some sort of either supernatural or extraterrestrial beings that dwell in a cave deep in the woods. The county doctor (Brian Krause, Charmed, Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers) does his best to uncover what’s going on while dealing with family issues, an uncooperative sheriff (Louis Herthum), ghosts from the past and the fact that both his young son and he himself are having terrifying nocturnal visions of these strange humanoid horrors walking right into their bedrooms and standing over them. Now, the film never outright tells you what these things are but the ringleader of them appears to wear a top hat which in my book rules out aliens and feels more akin to something earthly, elemental and folk-horror oriented but it’s really anyones guess. The film almost has a Signs vibe, what with all the rural farms and quaint, small town feel pervaded upon by threatening figures on the edge of the landscape. There are nice forest shots and they seem to have filmed this in Fall, so the seasonal vibes are there as well. I can’t quite call it a great film because it just feels like a DTV outing half the time, but on those terms it’s certainly not a bad one at all, one that genuinely tries to do something cool with capable actors, tangible atmosphere and discernible style to it. Originally titled “Within The Dark”, it can be found streaming on Prime at least here in Canada anyways, and is a nice lazy afternoon watch for spooky season.

-Nate Hill

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