It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"The Fear" is a generally unrewarding Greek film that has, however, a sustained passage of brilliance at its close.
It asks us to identify with a psychopathic young man who assaults and then murders the deaf-mute servant girl on his parents' farm. The fear is his own. His parents despise him and call him an animal, but they conspire to hide the body and conceal the crime. His sister comes home from college and gradually begins to suspect the secret. The young man grows steadily more fearful of discovery.
Now the problem is that the audience will not share the young man's fear unless it can identify with him. And "The Fear" does not succeed in getting us inside the criminal's mind. He remains unattractive and moronic from the beginning to end, and we hope he will be captured before he does more harm.
The failure to draw the young man's character more deeply is compounded by the absence of other interesting people in the story. The parents are made of cardboard, the servant girl is dispatched with early and only the sister (Helena Nathanael) remains to capture our sympathy.