Written and directed by Nicholas Michael Jacobs, Urban Fears is an anthology horror that sees the budding creator step up his game since his last movie, Night. It still has its issues but is far more enjoyable showing Jacobs growth as a film maker.
The anthology has three stories bookended by two short segments that help tie everything together. As the stories go, it’s a well put together tale. Opening with a young girl making the mistake of opening up a cursed chain email.
The first proper story is called Sundown and surrounds a young man named, James (Brian Jacobs). He’s a thief waiting for his partner who no-shows. Rather then just go home at the insistence of his father, James decides to break into a house. After a lengthy looking around sequence (one of the pacing issues the film has), James heads home but it’s dark now.
He runs into a masked man who attacks him leading to a cat and mouse chase.
The second story, Inanimate surrounds the house sitter that has been looking after the house James and his father live in. Annie (Alexis Beacher) is told not to go into a room in a basement but would you believe it? She does and soon has to fight off an evil doll.
The final story stars Max (played by Nicholas Michael Jacobs himself) who is the boyfriend of Annie the house sitter. When he can’t get hold of her (I wonder why?) he finds he has been sent the chain email from the opening segment. He is then forced to defend himself against the spirit of a young girl (Gianna Jacobs).
Wrapping up the movie is a fun little brawl between the antagonists.
What makes Urban Fears a much more enjoyable watch is the anthology style and seeing how it all connects together. Each individual story has interesting parts and it doesn’t get bogged down by cheapness in the same way Night did. It still has its frustrating moments (such as the really lengthy thievery sequence in Sundown) but they’re less obvious.
Operating on a micro-budget, the lack of gore, especially when there could have been some, is disappointing. The acting is hit and miss but nothing that absolutely shocks and there is some iffy dialogue here and there. These are issues but the progression of Jacobs as a filmmaker is noticeable and worthy of praise.