As a Prelude to Fear is a 2021 British horror thriller film about a young woman who is kidnapped and imprisoned in a dungeon-like basement.
Directed, designed, edited and scored by Steph Du Melo (C.A.M..) from a screenplay co-written with Jacob Coen and Roger Wyatt. Produced by Steph Du Melo and Antony Meadley.
The movie stars Lara Lemon (Chinese Burns; Deadly Intent), Francis Magee, Lucy Drive, Jamie Langlands (Dragonflies Only Live for 24 Hours; Under the Crystal Dome), Tom Clear, Melissa Hollett and Roger Wyatt.
“Despite the films low budget, it plays it safe with what it can do and never risks putting a suspension of disbelief as most mainstream horrors give. While not all performances are equal, at least Lemon and Wyatt give enough to hold the film together and the shocking realisation in the film’s closing moments is as a haunting reminder that the true horror is real.” Blood Guts UK
“While AaPtF is an improvement on the woeful C.A.M. it’s still a pretty flat movie, strangely managing to generate lifeless performances from the cast’s professionals (Magee and Drive) as well as the less seasoned newcomers […] It’s well shot and put together, but terribly uninvolving, a movie aiming but not succeeding in punching above its budgetary weight.” Dark Eyes of London
“There was potential in building a horror side but sadly it doesn’t go through with it, creating instead a somewhat predictable tale with a flat atmosphere. It sadly just doesn’t capitalise on the underlying notes of the story, making its villain more sinister or building the mystery and chase more deeply to really pull the audience in.” 4 out of 10, Film Carnage
” …the movie casts way too much suspicion on the one character that anyone who has ever seen a thriller movie can predict that he is not the killer. With no other suspects in mind, the killer’s identity becomes glaringly obvious who much so you’ll figure it out halfway into the movie. With the mystery gone, you now have to sit back and watch As a Prelude to Fear drag to the finish line.” Horror Facts
“If it wasn’t for the whole detective side of the movie this wouldn’t have been anywhere as near enjoyable as it was. Wyatt and Magee were such fun characters that they made what could have been a generic storyline actually pretty fun. It was a shame that the same couldn’t be said for the Eve storyline, it just never felt like she was in as much danger as the film would want you to believe.” The Rotting Zombie
“I found the confinement portion more exciting and evocative. The investigation subplot could’ve used a larger cast. As it is, it sometimes feels empty. As a Prelude to Fear is a rudimentary, plausible horror thriller, but it gets artsy with wild compositions and an ambitious score to punctuate.” Tales of Terror
“As A Prelude to Fear is a traditional detective story with little determination to carve out its own space in a crowded genre. Unfortunately, the biggest takeaway is the bitter aftertaste it leaves with an ill-fitting attempt to relate it to real-world social issues.” UK Film Review
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