Written by Hunter Johnson and Kevin Sommerfield Directed by Hunter Johnson Starring Charles Chudabala, Jennifer Nagle, Baker Chase Powell, Leah Wiseman
Everyone has some sort of phobia. But, what happens when this irrational fear of something, becomes real…and something to actually fear? Thus is the theme explored in IRRATIONAL FEAR, the newest horror film brought to us by Hunter Johnson. I became a huge fan and friend of Hunter’s after screening 2Jennifer in 2016 and just knew…this guy is something special.
IRRATIONAL FEAR is definitely unique in its kind. We are immediately treated to cameo appearances by Hunter and Kevin Sommerfield (co-writer and executive producer) as the introduction opens to a neighborhood 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 6 other patients. The patients are invited to a camping retreat by Dr. 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 Dr. 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, Dr. Sanders always looking for the silver lining, is convinced that he will cure every one of their ailments by the weekend’s close.
But 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, Dr. Sanders is a funny little man who finally loses his cool at the end and everything comes to a disturbing discovery.
Hunter 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 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 west coast horror crew that I am thrilled to be reviewing.
"Killing with gloves on? Well, that would be like fucking with a rubber."