Rain Burroughs suffers from schizophrenia. She regularly experiences vivid and disturbing hallucinations, which have resulted in periods of hospitalisation.

One night at home, following a recent stay in hospital, Rain wakes up to the sound of screaming. She looks out of her window to see what appears to be a little girl crying out for help, from the window of her neighbour’s attic.

No one else sees or hears the girl crying, and Rain’s parents believe this whole scenario is just a figment of their daughter’s imagination. However, Rain is convinced her neighbour is up to no good, and becomes desperate to prove herself right.

As Rain investigates her neighbour, her mental health begins to decline, leading to further hallucinations. But with the lines between fact and fiction beginning to blur even more, could Rain simply be mistaken about what she saw?

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The above blurb describes the premise of the new psychological thriller, Fear of Rain. The movie – written and directed by Castille Landon – stars Madison Iseman, Israel Broussard, Eugenie Bondurant, Katherine Heigl, and Harry Connick Jr., and is new to Netflix UK this week.

If you choose to watch the movie, and I expect many will, those who make it to the end of the picture will probably feel rather disappointed with what they have watched. While Fear of Rain has some interesting ideas, and a decent cast, I’m sorry to say that it’s a bit of a mess which never lives up to its potential.

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The problem with Fear of Rain is that it doesn’t quite know what story it wants to tell. It chucks a bunch of plot points at the screen, and fumbles every single one of them.

Is this a teen picture about a young woman struggling with her mental health? Is this a mystery thriller about something evil in the suburbs? Or is this a drama about a family coping with schizophrenia? The movie is never quite sure.

Fear of Rain tries to pull a bunch of ideas into the mix, chucks in a few extra plot points for good measure, and expects to make a workable story out of the lot. However, the end result is a mish-mash, which takes far too long to get going, has a very bumpy mid-section, and suffers from an extremely rushed ending.

How rushed? Very!

After spending the majority of the movie trying to tell a coherent story, the film drops various revelations into the narrative in fairly quick succession, and expects this sudden info-burst to fix its many problems. Of course, it doesn’t, as these last-minute revelations merely highlight that the script needed a major re-write before this movie went into production.

Image: ©Lionsgate
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The biggest casualty of this whole film is the mystery surrounding the neighbour, which is not given the right amount of screen time it needs. The mystery is clearly the main hook of the story, designed to keep audiences watching, and yet this entire plot point feels like an afterthought.

The story about the neighbour isn’t introduced until a good 30 minutes into the movie, and once this plot thread does show up, it all feels very wishy-washy. One minute Rain is worried about what’s going on in the house next door, while the next minute she doesn’t seem all that interested, because the movie is too busy taking her off in a different direction.  

The mystery angle of the movie should have played a much bigger role in the story, should have had far more depth, and should have been introduced much sooner. My biggest frustration with this whole movie is the way in which it completely mishandles this part of the story.

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If there is anything positive I can say about Fear of Rain, it’s that this isn’t a dreadful film. Despite major issues with the narrative, the cast are fine and there are various moments with Rain which suggest a good film is bubbling under the surface.

But this whole picture needed a rethink before even a moment of footage was shot. It needed reworking or re-editing to ensure all of the ideas were evenly balanced, and it required a much tighter narrative.

There are certainly worse things to spend your time on, but I don’t believe you will feel in any way satisfied with this movie should you give it a watch. Fear of Rain is disappointing, plain and simple.  

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