Nothing Left to Fear sadly lived up to its namesake all too well; the audience was given nothing to fear and left with the pains of a wasted Red Box rental. It is a barely watchable film filled with special effects that actually possess some quality, but which are marred by the slow-moving, incredibly bland plot. Honestly, special effects are all that this flick has to offer. Some of the scenes which were added in for scare factor actually come off as a bit artsy, leading you to believe that this film may contribute something of merit to the horror genre. Sadly, Nothing Left to Fear cannot overcome its many flaws.
It all begins with a very generic family, The Bramfords, comprised of husband and wife, Dan and Wendy (James Tupper and Anne Heche), their boy-crazy daughter Rebecca (Rebekah Brandes), moody teen daughter Mary (Jennifer Stone), and just-there-to-round-out-the-stereotype son Christopher (Carter Cabassa). We encounter the family during a move out to the Midwestm, so that the father can take up duties as a pastor at the local church. The family arrives after a couple of scenes which are reminiscent of movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Upon arrival, the Bramfords find that the townspeople are welcoming and a bit too friendly. Soon after the Bramfords settle into their new home, strange things start happening. Mary almost swallows a claw-like object hidden in a piece of cake baked by one of the townspeople, and Rebecca starts having vivid and disturbing dreams. Soon after this, Mary becomes possessed by a demonic entity. Pay attention children: baked goods and teen angst may lead to demonic possessions.
Enter the “knight in shining white v-neck shirt”, Noah (Ethan Peck), who swoops in and steals Rebecca’s affections, while filling in plot holes and revealing a lot about the town. After a night at the carnival triggers the entity (or whatever it is) that seems to be hiding inside of Mary, Rebecca and Noah are left alone to save each other, as well as the superfluous little brother, from the creature which Mary has become. The madness that ensues is a little too Night of the Living Dead and not enough all-powerful malevolent spirit. The creature just slugs along and isn’t very effective in leaving a lasting mark on the audience.
Let’s jump back to the special effects I mentioned earlier, because they really have a way of getting your hopes up. When the evil starts taking over, it is depicted visually as a blackness that seeps out of the person’s eyes and mouth, in a sort of vine-like fashion which is paired with contortionist moves by whoever it is infecting. The dreams that Rebecca has are also visually striking, especially one involving a dead sheep. The cinematic elements in the movie are quite ahead of most of its counterparts, only they fail to convey the suspense needed for the film to be effective.
Overall, Nothing Left To Fear ends up being a bad experience – not campy bad, just bad bad. With a little more effort and maybe a little more time spent in development, it could have fallen into the B-level section of our hearts. The story is cliché and moves slower than a herd of snails traveling through peanut butter.