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film reel image

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Fear Pharm 2020 * * 1/2 Stars


2020's Fear Pharm is my latest write-up (not sure what the "Pharm" means). Its TV production values, sometimes lame acting, and "bag" characters almost veer the pic into terror parody. "Pharm" does not end well for its protagonists who are just following the protocol of people making bad decisions in a horror film. They get captured, bullied, and hostilely tortured in which their skin is totally peeled right off. Ugh. 

Anyway, Fear Pharm gets a mixed review from me for it feels outmoded and a little dated. Paying homage to the likes of Rob Zombie, Gregory Plotkin, and Tobe Hooper, "Pharm" echoes stuff like House of 1000 Corpses, Hell Fest, and that silly GEICO commercial from a few years back (you know, the one with the chainsaws and the running cars). 

Distributed by Indican Pictures (a private entertainment company), containing thirty minutes of buildup that almost made me lose interest, and directed by rookie Dante Yore (he's mostly a cinematographer), "Pharm" is about four millennial personas who flock to a corn maze attraction on Halloween night. There, they are hunted down by some callous ruffians who look like hideous extras from a carnival rock music video. Said maze which feels endless, is the panic hook and game co-star of Fear Pharm. It's a kind of labyrinth where it's obvious early on that no one is getting out alive. 

Containing a few tense moments, capable roving direction from Yore, and a cessation in which the sadistic entity wins (I'm always affected by that as a moviegoer), Fear Pharm is ample if not nutrition-less viewing for genre, fright fans looking for another fiendish helping. Me, well I wanted "Pharm" to be grainier, less familiar, and less lampooned but let's face it, this ain't the cinematic 70's anymore. This is what we're left with.   

Written by Jesse Burleson

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