FUTURE FEAR, a Banquet of Slop with a Cherry on Top
June 15, 2021
Any piece of media that is composed of multiple creators, whether it be a book of short stories or a film anthology, is inherently a gamble. The curator of the project must find talented people to contribute and decide on the best way and order to present the stories. With film anthologies, there is even a throughline needed to create connectivity between the different segments. Give a poorly made or written segment too much screen time or importance and it will drag the entire project down. Future Fear is almost baffling in how it fails in almost every category, between having the worst wrap-around story that has only the flimsiest connection to the rest of the shorts, and segments that are so abysmally bad that the standout short feels wasted in this film.
In the future where the Earth has been ravaged by unseen creatures, an archeologist stumbles upon a cache of old video logs. Looking through them for possible historical logs about the creatures, she instead finds stories of assassins, spiders, demonic entities, a deadly plague, and killer children, each story more mysterious and strange than the last. She must decide for herself if these are works of fiction or tales of horror that plague the world before the arrival of the creatures.
As with most films, there is the inherent truth that less is more, that a well-thought-out and focused idea will be better than a project that just throws everything at the wall to see what sticks. Future Fear has instead decided to throw everything at the wall including the kitchen sink, opting to just put in every short they can find regardless of quality. This leads to simply a miserable slog where the shorts are average at best, miserable and predictable at worst.
The stand-out segment of Future Fear that all attention deserves to be focused on is Post-Mortem by Ryan Golding that feels like a ghost story that takes place in a Blade Runner-esc universe. Dark and moody it tells the tale of a young model trying to break into the fashion world, dreaming of impacting people’s lives through a billboard, in the bathroom preparing for an audition when she has a supernatural encounter. What makes it so strong besides the clever low-tech future angle is the story feels like it is themed around a me-too story of a young woman in the modeling industry that comes across as artistically done and downright haunting if that is the implication.
An anthology film lives and dies by the success of its individual segments, where if the bad outweigh the good, it will be remembered as a bad anthology with a good moment, only worth looking up on its own and that is where Future Fear lands. When the film becomes readily available I highly recommend tracking down the Post-Mortem segment and saving yourself the slog of an hour of slop to find the cherry on top.