I once worked with a guy like Efi Womonbongo (Seye Adelekan). Rather than putting his full effort into completing the task, he was famous for half-assing the job in the most hilarious way. Hilarious for me as an onlooker – less hilarious for my boss. Still, he got a good kick out of life, and I feel like that’s all Efi, the misunderstood actor/producer/actor pretending to be a producer, really wants. Le Fear II: Le Sequel is a stone-faced comedy about the making of a movie which is funded by the director and sabotaged by the producer.
Carlos, the director (Kyri Saphiris), has big hopes for his horror film, but is in need of a Hollywood-sized budget. He therefore contacts The Money Man (Andrew Tiernan) and makes a deal for £10 million, so long as Carlos contributes £500,000 of his own funds to the project. Sure, why not, after all, Carlos has big hopes. The problems start as soon as we meet Efi, the friendly producer with no concept of monetary value. Efi’s idea of a “grand movie set” is a trailer next to a bus lane – oh, excuse me, I mean a trailer once owned by William Shakespeare. But no worries, Michael Jackson is sending him fresh sets from his Australian set of The Lord of the Rings. Despite Efi’s colourful charm he is ground zero for everything that can and does go wrong with Carlos’ film.
Not a single person on their team, from the horny makeup artist to the melodramatic B-list actor, works well with one another. Every time Carlos asks for “horror” he gets store-bought aliens, Halloween decorations, and interpretive dance moves. Ironically, one of the main leads in Carlos’ movie is real-life horror actress Aiko Horiuchi – the terrifying, hollow-eyed face of The Grudge 3. In Le Fear II: Le Sequel, however, Horiuchi is an adorably lost Japanese actress with limited English. The making of their makeshift film is as painfully frustrating for the characters as it was for me to watch. Thankfully, however, unlike Carlos, I didn’t have to mortgage a house to witness their creative train wreck.
I so desperately wanted Carlos to give up, but that poor desperate soul soldiered on until the hole he’d dug for himself was as metaphorically deep as his career’s grave. At first, Efi and his team of tactless con artists are too ridiculous to be real and are therefore hilarious to watch. After a while, however, their incessant failures and misunderstandings turn from funny, to overkill, to exasperating. Their collective pride, sensitivity, and laziness sadly make Le Fear II: Le Sequel one of the most depressing indie/comedy/sci-fi/horror/mockumentaries I’ve seen. Still, this combination has been known to create cult classics.
Thanks to the mockumentary style, the whole film feels totally unscripted. The shaky, hand-held camera goes wherever it wants, and the dialogue feels overly improvised, with several characters speaking at the same time. The result is a sense of chaos in close quarters, like opening the door on a beehive stuffed with divas. For an indie film, I think Le Fear II: Le Sequel is just different enough to make its mark. But as a mockumentary/ horror/The Office-like comedy I spent most of my viewing time feeling frustrated with endless setbacks and not one positive moment to motivate these characters. I foresee a life of despair and regret for the unfortunate Carlos and his crew, with little hope of stardom from future enterprises. Le Fear II: Le Sequel made me anxious and aggravated, which is not the reaction I expected from this genre of film. My honest opinion is a 3/10, which I seriously hesitate to give because this is one of those unique movies which will speak to individuals rather than crowds. You may be the kind of person who finds this type of comedy side-splittingly hilarious, and who will roar with laughter as Carlos makes one horrible decision after another, or you may wish for something a little more HaHa funny.