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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Review: Fear of Rain

Director: Castille Landon

Screenplay: Castille Landon

Year: 2021

Living with schizophrenia or with someone that suffers from this condition has to be complex and, to a certain extent, scary. Hallucinations, disordered thinking, and hard to predict erratic behavior are symptoms of this condition that causes severe distortion of reality. "Fear of Rain '' puts us at the heart of a marriage whose daughter suffers from this condition and shows the complexity of living with it and how terrifying it can be.

Rain is a teenager that has schizophrenia and whose reality is distorted. Rain suspects that her neighbor kidnapped a little girl and has her captive in her attic, but with her constant hallucinations, nobody believes her. Only Caleb, a new student in her school, believes in her, but she is unsure if Caleb is real or a product of her imagination.

"Fear of Rain" puts you in Rain's shoes, a young woman with severe schizophrenia who suffers from constant hallucinations and who hears voices. We see everything from an unreliable narrator’s perspective, which complicates being able to decipher what’s real and what is not and keeps the intrigue and suspense high. The director Castille Landon (“Apple of My Eye”) effectively puts the viewer inside the protagonist’s mind. She knows how to get through the same confusion that Rain feels and highlights how terrifying her hallucinations can be. 

In her first endeavor in horror and thriller territory, Landon bets for the psychological thriller and takes it seriously. Besides deeply exploring Rain’s character, her condition, and how her family and surroundings respond to her, the director and screenwriter make a great job keeping the tension high during its development. Once Rains starts suspecting from her neighbor and looks into the possible kidnapping, she and Caleb get themselves into unfavorable situations, where the director knows how to exploit the tension element through the plot and by using several camera tricks, where extreme closeups for limiting the field of vision and elevating the suspense stand out.

Another element that helps the plot flow and delve into Rain’s mind is the acting from the main cast and the excellent direction they get. The chemistry between Rain and Caleb, interpreted by Madison Iseman (“Annabelle Comes Home”) and Israel Broussad (“Happy Death Day 2U”), is palpable from the first scene they share. This becomes essential for growing interested in them and for getting to know if Caleb is real or not. The rest of the cast also does a phenomenal job, where Eugenie Bondurant (“The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2”) stands out as Rain’s neighbor and teacher and offers a character so enigmatic that competes with the protagonist’s mental state. 

“Fear of Rain” offers the world’s perspective inside the head of a person with schizophrenia and shows how complex and terrifying the disease can be. With outstanding performances and constant twists, it keeps you always trying to understand if what’s happening is real or not, although, at some points, it is easy to figure it out if you pay attention to details. It fails in trying to encompass too many topics, and as a consequence, it only scratches the surface with some of them, but the rest makes up for an excellent psychological thriller.

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