BE AFRAID (2017) Reviews and overview

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‘Nightmares do come true’

Be Afraid – aka Within the Dark – is a 2017 American science fiction horror film produced and directed by Drew Gabreski from a screenplay by Gerald Nott (The Flesh Keeper; The Quick and the Undead). The DarkShed production stars Brian Krause, Kevin Grevioux and Louis Herthum.

Not long after John Chambers and his family arrive at their new home in a small country town of Pennsylvania, John begins to experience sleep paralysis.

Lying there paralyzed, trapped within his own nightmare, otherworldly beings visit John. They are entities which exist in the darkest shadows of the night and can only be seen out of the corner of one’s eye.

These encounters begin to haunt John, transforming to complete terror as he discovers the entities’ sole purpose… the abduction of his seven year-old son.

In the end, John will uncover the town’s horrific secret, a portal on his land, and make one last attempt to save his son before the shadow people permanently take him away to their world…


“Some of the more intimate family scenes are genuinely touching, and some of the paralysis sequences are at least somewhat frightening. It’s still unfortunate that the film doesn’t really do much with its creative premise, but I imagine we’ll be seeing more movies touch on this subject matter in the near future. As it stands, Be Afraid is a competent thriller with some entertaining moments, but it lacks some much-needed depth.” Luiz H.C., Bloody Disgusting

“There are some intriguing and unnerving moments involving the creature with the film’s opening being its most intense and some later shimmering glimpses teasing the threat. The script also attempts an interesting reveal in its third act that, while not wholly effective, works to grab viewers’ attention just a little bit tighter.” Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects

“There’s a scene in the trailer that shows Heather relaxing in the bathtub and falling asleep. As it plays out in the film, it’s even more intense. It’s one of the scarier scenes in Be Afraid, and well-directed with plenty of suspense by first-time feature-director Drew Gabreski (augmented by brisk editing and a stirring score). What’s more, the lead actors really are convincing in their fear and tumult.” Staci Layne Wilson, Dread Central


“This is a genuine gem of a film. A wonderful old school B horror film that if it was made in the 70’s or 80’s would now be considered a cult classic. I also don’t want to oversell it. This is not a big splashy horror film with blood and gore and jump scares but one of slowly building tension.” Steve Kopian, Unseen Films

Be Afraid isn’t a movie to see more than once. Nor is a physical copy going to work its way to the shelf of a horror fan’s permanent collection.  It’s a textbook thriller built for one late night watch, for which it is perfectly fine, adequate, serviceable, and not bad. Those aren’t backhanded compliments. Those are approving nods for Be Afraid recognizing its limited role and meeting that mark as required.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

Main cast:

  • Brian Krause (Haunted Maze; House of Purgatory; Camel Spiders; et al)
  • Kevin Grevioux (The Prey; I, Frankenstein; Underworld)
  • Louis Herthum (Cadaver; The Last Exorcism and sequel; Mutants)
  • Jaimi Paige
  • Callie Thorne
  • Jared Abrahamson
  • Noell Coet
  • Michelle Hurd
  • Michael Leone
  • Sade Kimora Young
  • Kevin M. Horton
  • Todd Goble
  • Bill Laing
  • Kevin Corrigan
  • Eric Chandler

Filming locations:

Clarion, Pennsylvania


Be Afraid was released on DVD in the UK by Gilt Edge Media on 11 September 2017.

The film is currently available on Netflix.

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