There is a lot going on in Castille Landon’s horror/thriller that offers up a lead girl suffering with schizophrenia, while throwing shades of Disturbia into the mix……
Offering up a back story of mental illness into what at times is a horror story, is a difficult balance to pull off and for many films who have gone down this route, have suffered from offering a lack of sensitivity to the disability and throwing cheap scares into the mix and not really using the subject matter to push the film into a new direction.
The one thing writer and director Castille Landon does manage to achieve in FEAR OF RAIN is that there is no mistaking that its lead Rain (Madison Iseman) is indeed an ill young teenager, struggling with Schizophrenia and causing family life to be hard for her parents Katherine Heigl and Harry Connick Jr.
Starting with a proper horror sequence in which Rain is being chased by a mystery figure, before being buried alive and then digging herself up from the ground, until its revealed that what we have just witnessed was one of Rain’s violent episodes, the film sets its goal from from the off. This is a film that may be a horror or not, that what is happening, may all be in Rain’s mind and while the film carries this off quite well, it does struggle to reach its potential.
What we have is a film that tries to be a blend of drama and thrills, mixed with some horror elements, but all the ingredients don’t really gel together, leaving an uneven film, that while never boring, you do wish it had a bit more bite to its tale.
Being an outcast in high school with many of her students worried that she may go all “Carrie” on them, the plot piles on the misery for Rain, with Iseman showcasing once more her rise to stardom and while she finds comfort in new guy Caleb (Israel Broussard), she starts to suspect that her neighbour Dani (Eugenie Bondurant), who also just happens to be her English teacher, may have abducted a small child and keeping her prisoner, but is it another hallucination? And if not, who will believe her?
The “is it happening or not?” plot will no doubt keep your interest and while the climax is pretty predictable, there is one outrageous twist that even had me throwing my hands in the air with despair. Not because it rips off a very popular classic, but that it was so obvious and in your face, that I was more mad at myself for not spotting it and because I didn’t, that moment actually raised the film up a notch for me personally.
Fear The Rain is very flawed and doesn’t really break the mould, but its hard to dislike, when the cast make it more than watchable for a weekend watch.