‘Swallow your fears’
Irrational Fear is a 2017 American slasher horror feature film about six therapy patients who are brought together at a secluded cabin. They are forced to confront their extreme fears of germs, bugs, drowning, choking and losing teeth – to name a few. But these fears won’t just hurt them …they may very well kill them.
Directed, produced and edited by Hunter Johnson (California Paranormal; Serena Waits; 2 Jennifer) from a screenplay co-written with Kevin Sommerfield (Dismembering Christmas; Don’t Go to the Reunion). The Slasher Studios production stars Charles Chudabala, Baker Chase Powell and Leah Wiseman.
Having been previously released on limited edition Blu-ray and DVD by Slasher Studios, Terror Films will release Irrational Fear on digital platforms on Friday, July 24th 2020. The digital roll-out will expand over several months and include Tubi TV, Amazon Prime, Roku, Watch Movies Now, Google Play, Kings of Horror on YouTube and many more.
[May contain spoilers] Review:
Almost everyone has some sort of phobia. But, what happens when this irrational fear of something, becomes real… and something to actually fear?
Irrational Fear is definitely unique. We are immediately treated to cameo appearances by director Hunter Johnson and Kevin Sommerfield (co-writer and executive producer) as the introduction opens to a neighbourhood bullying a young woman. Is this really happening, or in her mind? It’s clear that she is in fear and thus we are thrown into several additional phobias owned by six other patients. The patients are invited to a camping retreat by Doctor Sanders (the ever charismatic Charles Chudabala), hoping to dive into their subconscious and rid them of these irrational fears.
One young man is distressed about choking. On anything… he is deathly afraid of choking and paranoid about what he consumes. Another has an obvious eating and appearance disorder. Then there’s Cameron who is extremely scared of his teeth rotting. Taylor is a sweet college co-ed, who cannot stand to be touched. Jake believes everything around him is germ-infested. The level of phobias has no limit, so Doctor Sanders has his work cut out for him.
Once the group gathers at the wooded cabin by the lake, animosity ensues. The first therapy session drives one member to leave, and others to hold back their insecurities. Still, always looking for the silver lining, Doctor Sanders is convinced that he will cure everyone of their ailments by the weekend’s close.
However, weird things begin to happen. And all the weirdness includes a black sludge-like goo as the participants are tortured by their phobias. Literally. What is this malevolent force hovering over this group and how are they to survive?
As time progresses and folks are disappearing, two group members take matters into their own hands to figure out once and for all – who/what is killing everybody?
Charles Chudabala portrays an optimistic and simple-minded psychologist who is devoted to solving the groups’ issues no matter what. Black gunk pouring out of their mouths? “It’s going to be ok!” People disappearing with disturbing leave-behinds? “It will all be ok!” Oh, Doctor Sanders is a funny little man who finally loses his cool at the end and everything comes to a disturbing discovery.
Director Hunter Johnson has managed once again to get inside our heads, forcing us to ponder the thought of what really frightens you, makes you uneasy, and more importantly… what if it is not irrational, but a real and tangible fear?
With some minor comic relief (“I’m Helen, I’m into ass-play and I’m not getting into that lake!”) and plenty of cringing moments (remember Cameron fears rotting teeth?), this is another treat from the US west coast horror crew.
Meredith Brown, MOVIES and MANIA
“It was awesome seeing the people in Irrational Fear having no choice but to come face to face with their fears no matter the end result. It’s terrifying but liberating. I’ve always loved Hunter Johnson’s work and this is a fun one to kick back and enjoy…” 1428 Elm
“Hunter Johnson’s rough round the edges (and ok rough in the centre too) movie redeems itself by having an unusual monster (the gloop’s the key) and some divertingly hysterical performances, particularly Chudabala’s unhinged Sanders character. Sometimes the movie feels like a bit of a tussle between issue-of-the-week drama and creature feature, and there’s an awful lot of people shouting at each other, but it’s fun while it lasts.” Bloody Flicks
“With a finale that has some fine twists in the setup, a decent amount of action and some solid gore, there are some likable elements here. It does have some flaws to it. One of the films’ issues is the exaggerated build-up to their arrival and settling in at the cabin, where we get far too much going on here before finally getting there.” Don Anelli
” …it’s a concept that could lead to some cool shit if more means were available, but it’s stuck on a homegrown indie level, and for that, it’s not a bad entry amongst such VOD fare. It’s rough around the edges, and some of the performances edge into deliriously over the top territory at times, but it’s an admirable attempt.” Dustin Baker
“Despite the film’s success at challenging genre conventions, don’t expect any jaw-dropping twists or unexpected reveals in the end. There’s an attempt at one, but I suspect you’ll see it coming a mile away. Still, it’s played out well and a lot of fun to watch.” Morbidly Beautiful
“The film doesn’t necessarily go for broke with the gore but there are some bloody sequences. Rather, the film makes sure to throw a multitude of surreal/hallucinatory scenes at us. We are never on firm ground and I really enjoyed that. I also enjoyed how the cast wasn’t completely made up of younger characters.” Movie Mattinee
“Irrational Fear takes a classic concept of fear and turns it on its head. Johnson really shows true marks of incredible directing as he can easily mislead his audience to believe one thing while it’s something else entirely. Don’t be afraid of watching Irrational Fear after reading this review. It’s a fun watch!” Pop Horror
“While it’s not the most original of films, the fact that Irrational Fears does manage to pull out some surprises is impressive. The second death, in particular, caught me way off guard […] An enjoyable film with solid performances…” Voices from the Balcony
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Cast and characters:
Baker Chase Powell … Zach – Dismembering Christmas; Little Dead Rotting Hood
Jennifer Nangle … Kelly – Malvolia: The Queen of Screams
Charles Chudabala … Doctor Sanders – Ugly Sweater Party; Lilith; Death House; Serena Waits; #FromJennifer; Gehenna: Where Death Lives; 2 Jennifer; Restoration
Kaleb Shorey … Jake
Chad Moseley … Eric
Dane Bingenheimer … Mr Littleton
Leah Wiseman … Taylor – Dismembering Christmas; Family Possessions; Dollface
Hunter Johnson … Patient #6
Guy Holling … Ritch
Kevin Sommerfield … Patient #5
Mathias Blake … Cameron
Neda Stevic … Mrs Parker
Andrew Beirl … Patient #2
Zachary Allen … Patient #3
Skylar Spaulding … Julie