I’m having trouble keeping the first and second “The Fear” movies distinct, probably because they’re exactly the same. The first movie is about a nervous, wild-eyed Canadian who brings his girlfriend and other college-age drinking pals to a cabin in the woods to do some touchy-feely fear-conquering, only to run into a freaky wooden mannequin named Morty, who comes to life and (almost) kills them all. Guess what the second movie’s about?
Ok, there are a couple of differences. There’s no fear-based psychology project, there’s no Wes Craven or Vince “Ben Casey” Edwards on hand, and the friends are a lot duller- there’s no white guy pretending to be Jamaican and no incestuous couples, for example. Instead we get Betsy Palmer (Jason’s mom in the “Friday the 13th” movies) and a Native American fear-banishing ceremony gone wrong. In other words, Morty’s out to get Whitey for making him work in the window of the department store all these years! We also get to hear Morty talk, which he didn’t get to do in the first movie.
But these changes definitely aren’t for the better. Compared to the non-stop laughability of the first movie, “The Fear 2” is just dull, with only a couple of funny moments. Director Chris Angel misses the fact that the human race has more complex emotions than “really happy” or “really scared.” In one scene main character Mike (Gordon Currie) and girlfriend Peg (Stacy Grant) find one friend chopped up and stuffed in a box, and another slashed to death and stuffed in the basement; ten seconds later, they’re kissing happily and talking about marriage. And when the cast finally figures out how to stop Morty (apparently fire kills supernatural demons, as long as they’re wooden), they laugh and hug like they were at a four-year-old’s birthday party. Anyone for S’mores?
The movie’s only saving grace is Morty. His dialogue is bad, and the dubbed-in voice is pathetically fake, but it’s still funny to think of a wooden guy killing a bunch of twenty-somethings just to be mean. In one scene we see Morty, who’s been sitting in the attic the whole movie, sitting in a rocking chair on the porch. He hasn’t yet come to life, the scene never leads to anything, but there he is, an inanimate object, rocking back and forth! Later, a friend called Trish gets into bed with another friend named Mitch, even though she’d told him ten minutes before that she wasn’t stupid enough to fall for his smooth talk. As if this weren’t bad enough, Morty comes out of the closet and starts watching them do it! When then catch on, Morty throws Mitch out the window, which is supposed to be ironic since Mitch is scared of heights. What’s really ironic, though, is that when he flies through the air, we see that Mitch’s pants are still on, even though he was supposedly getting it on just moments before!
Overall “The Fear 2: Halloween Night” – lives up to its teaser slogan – “Scream louder, it won’t stop” – in a way I’m sure the producers didn’t intend. Me, I was screaming, all right- for the credits to show up. Mildly recommended.
“This trip isn’t about getting laid.” – Mike. “It’s about Halloween.” – Peg
“Some believe he’s a vessel of evil spirits. Others think that he’s just a dummy.” – Crow
“You haven’t had any fun since Reagan was governor.” – Mams
“I guess you missed the ‘don’t mention the serial killers around the locals’ speech.”Â – Chris
“Just as I would never mess with your crucifix, or your Holy Mother, you should not mess with Morty!” – Crow
“Hey, Virgin Morty!” – Chris
“I’m gonna clear-cut your ass.” – Mike