is a 2009 film directed by Anthony DiBlasi based on a short story written by Clive Barker
Three college students set out to do a project on people's innermost fears. One of them, a disturbed young man named Quaid who witnessed his parents get murdered as a child, takes the project to the next level.
Was part of the After Dark Horrorfest
This film contains examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptation Expansion: Given that the source material is a short story, this is to be expected.
- And I Must Scream: The final fate (presumably) of Cheryl.
- Ax-Crazy: Not only the guy who killed Quaid's parents, but by the end, Steven and Joshua as well.
- Blood Is Squicker in Water: When Abby is in the bathtub and tries to scrub off her birthmark.
- Body Horror: After being humiliated by Quaid, Abby proceeds to scrub off her birthmark, which covers half of her body, in the bathtub...with steel wool.
- She then proceeds to pour bleach all over the wounds in hopes of wiping it out.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Quaid gets away with his crimes with no repercussions whatsoever and is even in a better place at the end than he was a the beginning having overcome his 'dread'.
- Canon Foreigner: Abby
- The Chessmaster: Quaid
- Decomposite Character: Steven and Joshua in the film were both derived from the same character in the novella.
- Death by Adaptation/Spared by the Adaptation: In the original short story, Steven survives (albeit insane) and Quaid is killed.
- Diabolus ex Machina: Joshua returns and, assuming that Steven was working with Quaid when Quaid made him go deaf, kills Steven with an axe.
- Distinguishing Mark: Abby has a birthmark that covers half of her body.
- Fate Worse than Death: Cheryl is locked in a room with nothing but a knife and the dead body of her boyfriend.
- Freudian Excuse: Quaid witnessed his parents get killed by a psycho with an axe. The other characters have skeletons in their closet as well.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Of the forced variety.
- Karma Houdini: Guess.
- Rape as Backstory: Cheryl was sexually abused by her father.
- Sadistic Choice: Quaid puts Cheryl through this.
- Shout-Out: To Batman. Quaid is the Scarecrow with Batman's origin story. The filmmakers seem to have taken this and ran with it, as the original character Abby is pretty obviously based on Two-Face.
- Unwitting Pawn: Everyone becomes this under Quaid's "experiments".
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: It's hard not to feel sympathy for Quaid given what he went through. For the first half of the film, at least.