Know Fear (2021)

Horror films are now bringing in some fresh ideas as with the case of this film from the duo of Jamison LoCascio and Adam Ambrosio.

Donald and Wendy are a couple who have moved into a new home. To help them are their niece Jami, an aspiring paranormal expert and YouTube star; and nephew Charlie, who has been lashing out since the death of his parents. The move starts very smoothly, but for Wendy, it feels stressful as it interferes with her teaching job, so she gets help in teaching assistant Nancy. However, the move will be nothing compared to what’s next.

The couple find a mysterious book and Donald doesn’t think much of it at first. However, Wendy slowly begins to go through some changes. She finds herself unintentionally hurting herself and soon enough, she becomes catatonic. Jami soon learns the book in question is a demonic ritual book. Jami learns that the book could be the source of Wendy’s issues and learns of a way to stop the demonic presence. Donald is skeptical and tells Jami not to do anything. However, Jami is determined and performs a ritual, in which she needs two other people to see, hear, and speak to the entity. Chaos is set to happen in this house.

The idea of tropes in horror films works with any of the subgenres. For this film, the team of director LoCascio and producer Ambrosio, who wrote the film together, brought a John Carpenter-tone to the film and doesn’t have to rely on anything out of the ordinary. As a matter of fact, when it comes to possession, it usually involves a ritual where a priest gets involved. However, in this case, the idea of an aspiring paranormal expert performing the ritual brings something fresh to the table, but it goes beyond that as well.

The cast give it their all in the film. David Alan Basche plays the very skeptical Donald, who thinks his wife is just going through some issues. Amy Carlson does a wonderful job as Wendy, the wife who struggles with both the stress of moving and her job, thus making her an easy target for the entity. Madison Bechtel does a great job as aspiring Youtuber/paranormal expert Jami, whose desperation to help her aunt leads to doing something she clearly may not have the experience for. To help her combat the entity, Jack DiFalco’s Charlie and Meeya Davis’ Nancy are the ones who may be the saving grace. Of course, that’s not without the film being a slow burn at first.

When it comes to slow burns, they can be hit or miss. It all depends on the final act and in the case of this film, it is worth the wait. Once the entity gets its presence known, that’s when things really go crazy and there are jump scares and in the case of one character, an attempt to stop it leads to the character unintentionally self-harming themselves. The final moments are pretty shocking and are a bit jaw-dropping.

Know Fear is to see, hear, and speak to a demonic presence for three people, much like an anti-Holy Trinity if you will. A great slow burn and tense horror film that leads to a really good finale.

WFG RATING: B+

Terror Films presents a Film Valor production in association with Halcyon Valor Productions. Director: Jamison LoCascio. Producer: Adam Ambrosio. Writers: Jamison LoCascio and Adam Ambrosio. Cinematography: Nicholas Pietroniro. Editing: Jamison LoCascio.

Cast: Amy Carlson, Madison Bechtel, David Alan Basche, Jack DiFalco, Meeya Davis.

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