(director/writer: Castille Landon; cinematographer: Joshua Reis; editors: Morgan Halsey; music: Jamie Muhoberac; cast:  Katherine Heigl (Michelle), Harry Connick Jr. (John Burroughs), Madison Iseman (Rain Burroughs), Israel Broussard (Caleb), Enuka Okuma (Shrink, Dr. Ellen Pangloss), Eugenie Bondurant (Dani McConnell), Julia Vasi (Alexa), Brian Yang (Doctor); Runtime: 109; MPAA Rating:PG-13; producers: Dori A. Rath, Joseph J. Restaino, Robert Molloy, Joe Riley; Lionsgate; 2021)

Though I could relate to the sensitive way schizophrenia is treated, I could not relate to how clumsily the film is directed.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A YA psychological thriller by writer/director Castille Landon (“Apple of My Eye”) that’s mislabeled a horror pic.

The troubled teenager Rain Burroughs (Madison Iseman) has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and has recently been released
from a psychiatric institution after an intense psychotic episode. She now convinces herself that one of the teachers in her high school, Mrs. McConnell ( (Eugenie Bondurant), a neighbor, is keeping a child a prisoner in her attic. She elicits the help of the new student in her high school Caleb (Israel Broussard) to help in the rescue. Rain is concerned because she was once held captive by a stranger in the woods and doesn’t want this to happen to someone else.

Her doting parents (
Katherine Heigl and Harry Connick Jr.) fear their daughter’s mental problems are severe, and her notions of reality are questionable. She is being treated by a psychiatrist (Enuka Okuma), and frequently has hallucinations. Her folks say that she might think she was abducted but in reality wasn’t. The other problem with her story, is that there’s no proof that Caleb even exists.

Viewers are dragged through several incidents that might be true or not. But it’s hard to rouse any tension over such uncertainties, and the story seems contrived.

It’s set in the South, in and around Tampa, Fla, and the location shots were fascinating. My curiosity over the old Southern architecture shots were what kept me watching a film I would have normally turned off after the first act failed to catch my interest.

Though I could relate to the sensitive way schizophrenia is treated, I could not relate to how clumsily the film is directed. It’s a misguided effort to be a Hitchcock-like suspense film,when it probably would be best viewed as if it was one of those middling tearjerkers often seen on the cable network.

[Movie Review] FEAR OF RAIN