Point of Fear
No good can come of this.

Theatrical Release Date: 11/1/2006
DVD Release Date: 05/27/2008
Director: Brooks Benjamin
Cast: Austin Musick, Jason Benjamin, Casey Payne, Linds Edwards, Erica Bundy, Steve Miller

I am a firm believer in the concept of movie titles capturing the essence of a film. Many better names for this movie come to mind:

“Point of Mind-numbing Boredom”
“Point Where You Realize That None of These People Went to Acting School”
“Point Where You Admit to Yourself That Nothing Good Will Come of This Film”
Or my fave; “What’s The Point?”

I mean, come on. Apparently some guy woke up one morning and said to himself, “Wait a minute! I have an old cabin in the woods, a handful of random friends and relatives, my grandma’s old camcorder, and $5000 in the bank. I could use that money to buy a suit and get a job, but it would be so much cooler if I made a movie!”

No it wouldn’t, dude.

No, it wouldn’t.

But I digress. “Point of Fear” is a film about four friends (or two couples? or people that met at the grocery store?) that go out to the middle of nowhere to hang out in some musty old cabin in a town called Point Pleasant. Melissa (Austin Musick) is afraid of heights, so she goes to see Dr. Jamison, AKA Dr. Fear (Jason Benjamin), a shrink from Atlanta that moved there after the deaths of his wife and son. He is known in the community as a doctor that can help you face your greatest fears. She reminds the good doctor of his dead wife, and he kidnaps her, leaving her friends and the sheriff to save her and the rest of his patients from his homicidal tendencies.

Looking back on my synopsis, the movie doesn’t sound half bad, but that is because a synopsis maintains a sense of focus, something the film lacked. People wander around pointlessly, and the killings are completely random. None of the characters seem connected to each other at all, and they are all familiar caricatures; the slut, the pretty girl with some semblance of common sense, the jerk, the sensitive guy, the small town sheriff. 99.9% of the actors lack the depth to convey even basic emotions like fear, concern, disgust, or sorrow. As a result, no one seems to care if anyone else dies, which made it hard for me to take the film even remotely seriously.

The biggest crime of this film is that it is not one tiny bit scary. Dr. Fear is the least frightening homicidal maniac ever. Everything moves too slowly to lend a sense of suspense. More than once, a character in physical jeopardy seems to refuse to run so that he can easily be killed. The effects are terrible, so there aren’t even any interesting or gory deaths.

The only remotely bright spot in this movie is Austin Musick. She actually does a decent job with the role she was given, and grows on you as the movie goes on. Unfortunately, she spends the first half of the movie tied to a bed (and not in a good way). I wouldn’t run in the other direction if I saw her name attached to another movie in the future, but I hope the rest of these people don’t quit their day jobs.

So, in case I haven’t made myself clear, this movie was lame. If one of my friends showed it to me as some random film school project, I might have been impressed, but as a film with even a limited release, it just made me sad. I think back on the hour-plus of my life that I spent on this movie and regret not using it to pay my bills or balance my checkbook.

I think Dr. Fear himself put it best when he said, “What are you doing? I don’t understand what is going on!”

Neither do I, Dr. Fear. Neither do I.