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Film / Fear, Inc.

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Fear, Inc. is a 2016 American comedy horror film directed by Vincent Masciale and written by Luke Barnett. The film stars Lucas Neff, Caitlin Stasey, Chris Marquette, and Stephanie Drake.

Fear, Inc. follows a company of degenerates who can be hired for a premium to bring your greatest fears to life. But when horror junkie Joe Foster's customized scare seemingly begins, he and his friends must decide if this company is there to scare them or make them pawns in their own sick game.

Tropes in Fear, Inc. include:

  • An Arm and a Leg: Joe is forced to cut off Ben's hand in a recreation of a scene from Saw.
  • Batter Up!: The balaclava-clad figure pursuing the woman in The Teaser is carrying a spiked baseball bat.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Joe Foster is a horror movie buff who complains that he doesn't find anything in real life scary. Enter Fear, Inc., who proceed to give him a real scare. The ending in particular, in which the company invokes Joe's favorite death scene—The Red Wedding—on the main characters, as they wanted to be sure Joe appreciated their efforts.
  • Cassandra Truth: Joe's Nosy Neighbour Bill, who is the captain of the local neighborhood watch, warns Joe about a van he saw parked in front of the house and that he thinks someone has been on the property. Joe brushes him off because Joe's a Jerkass. Turns out, he should have listened to Bill.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: A note written in blood is left pinned on the wall of Joe's sauna with a knife.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: It opens with a Pursued Protagonist being chased through a high-rise carpark. She reaches her car and thinks she is safe, but when she starts the car she hears voices on the radio saying her pursuers know exactly where she is. Then she is garroted by someone hiding in the backseat.
  • Faking the Dead: All of the deaths during Joe's customized scare (except possibly for Bill's) are faked. But, at the end of the scare, Fear, Inc. kills all of the participants for real.
  • Eye Scream: When Joe and Lindsey venture outside in search of Ashleigh, they find her with an arrow through her eye.
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": A woman is desperately phoning the title company to call off the psycho who is stalking her with a spiked baseball bat. The operator who takes her call places her on hold—complete with inappropriately jaunty hold music—as the psycho advances.
  • From Dress to Dressing: When Joe cuts his hand attempting to play Grievous Bottley Harm, Lindsey tears the bottom off her tank top and uses it to bind his hand.
  • The Game Never Stopped: Zigzagged. First of all, Joe believes that attacks are part of a game organized by Fear, Inc. Then he finally comes to believe the attacks are real, and kills one of the Malevolent Masked Men. Then, Lindsey tells him that it was just a game, and he has just murdered an actor. He and Lindsey take the body out to the desert to bury it, but Fear, Inc. catches up with them. Fear, Inc. kill Lindsey and leave Joe in the desert. He eventually finds his way to a diner and tries to call the police, only to discover it really was all a game and everyone is still alive. But, in a final twist, Fear, Inc. announces they are horrible people for wanting to play such a game in the first place, and murders them.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: When Joe decides he needs a weapon, he attempts to smash a bottle against the wall. He winds up with a handful of broken glass, cutting open his hand. Lindsey then shows that she is much better at it, and breaks a bottle into a jagged dagger and hands it to him.
  • Here We Go Again!: The film ends with Fear, Inc. receiving a phone call from a new client, implying the whole cycle is about to start all over again.
  • I Never Told You My Name: During the traffic stop, Joe becomes suspicious when the sheriff refers to him as 'Joe Foster', despite Joe not having told him his name or given him his licence.
  • Inspiration Nod: Joe calls the premise of the company (and the film itself) as evoking The Game (1997)
  • Look Both Ways: During the traffic stop, the sheriff tells Joe and Lindsey to get out of the van, and takes a step back on to the road, where he is promptly struck by another van.
  • Manchild: Joe Foster is an unemployed slacker who sponges off his wealthy girlfriend: lounging around her luxury home, playing video games, pranking the neighbours, and ignoring the list of chores she leaves for him to do.
  • Moment Killer: As Ben and Ashleigh are getting frisky in the guest house, Joe enters, claiming to be investigating the sound of breaking glass (although there is a good chance he is just being a Jerkass). After he leaves, Ben says "This has fucked things for us, hasn't it?" as Ashleigh storms off to the bedroom.
  • Mundane Luxury: For some reason, Ben is inordinately impressed that Joe and Lindsey have a tetherball in their backyard.
  • Neck Snap: When everyone is gathered at the diner for the 'wrap party', Ben has his neck snapped by one of the Fear, Inc. crew, as Joe discovers that it really isn't a game.
  • Nosy Neighbour: Joe's neighbour Bill is the captain of the local neighborhood watch and keeps a close eye on all the comings and goings.
  • Parking Garage: It opens with a woman being chased by a psych with a spiked baseball bat through a parking garage; trying desperately to reach her car which is on the top level.
  • Shout-Out: Joe, being a movie buff, calls out several bits as being obviously inspired by other films.
  • Slashed Throat: At the 'wrap party', the head of Fear, Inc. slits Lindsey's throat will Joe watches.
  • Teaser-Only Character: The blonde woman being chased through the Parking Garage. Given what is later revealed about Fear, Inc., it is not surprising she is never heard from again.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: When Joe and the others attempt to escape the house, they discover Fear, Inc. has ripped the ignition out of the car.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After being abandoned in the desert, Joe manages to make it to a phone booth at an old gas station, only to discover the phone isn't working.