If you want to watch a movie about a guy who kidnaps women and forces them to play the cello, and practically spoon-feeds you the identity of the killer, then ‘As a Prelude to Fear’ is the movie for you.
The story follows Eve (Lara Lemon) that disappears while attending her first cello lesson with her new mysterious instructor.
After receiving a troubling call from Eve before her abduction. Eve’s boyfriend Jaime (Jaime Langlands) contacts the police, where D.S Dobson (Lucy Drive) notes that Eve’s case is eerily similar to a group of young women who were abducted years ago by the serial killer known as, the Pied Piper.
In the meantime, we learn that Eve is being kept prisoner by her unknown captor in a basement dungeon, along with two other women.
Convinced that the killer has resurfaced, DCS Barnbrook (Francis Magee) soon opens a case he thought had been long shut. A case that almost cost him his career.
‘As a Prelude to Fear’ starts by giving us this sequence of a young woman being tortured and murdered at the hands of our killer, fooling the viewer into thinking that the remainder of the film will follow down this same dark path. But this opening murder is the only intense scene in the entire movie.
Our masked antagonist would make numerous idol threats towards Eve throughout the movie but failed to follow through on any. Instead, he chooses to inflict his wraith on other characters off screen. People that we only hear but never completely see. This level of detachment from these characters makes it hard for the viewer to sympathize or develop any real attachment to these faceless characters.
The remainder of ‘As a Prelude to Fear’ proceeds to move along at a slow pace, with the success of the film being put on the shoulders of its cast. A burden that none of them are able to bear.
The movie primarily focuses on one suspect, Giles Corcoran (Roger Wyatt), the man Barnbrook originally suspected as the Pied Piper. It gets to the point where the movie casts way too much suspicion on the one character that anyone who has ever seen a thriller movie can predict that he is not the killer. With no other suspects in mind, the killer’s identity becomes glaringly obvious who much so you’ll figure it out halfway into the movie.
With the mystery gone, you now have to sit back and watch ‘As a Prelude to Fear’ drag to the finish line.
The closing credits reveal the statistics of women who go missing every year and the fact that many of them are never heard from again. This is the only haunting thing about the movie.
On a scale of 1-5 stars, I give this movie 1 star.
‘As a Prelude to Fear’ felt like something you might turn on in the background. It is not something that you need to watch intently, as for a thriller movie there are almost no thrills to be had.
‘As a Prelude to Fear’ stars Francis Magee as DCS Barnbrook, Lara Lemon as Eve, Roger Wyatt as Giles Corcoran, Jamie Langlands as Jamie Harris, Lucy Drive as D.S. Dobson, Melissa Hollett as Alex, Amy Sutton as Jo, Tom Clear as PC Benson, and Owen Llewelyn as PC Calloway.