Review: Fear The Unknown Men

Fear The Unknown Men

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This short western sees a troubled sheriff and a lone gunslinger take down the notorious gang terrorising the town.  If all that sounds very familiar, it’s because British filmmaker Luke Shelley’s film brings precious little new to the table.

While many modern westerns – across film and television – have brought the genre to the frontier of the 21st century with atmospheric landscapes, sharp dialogue and genre-bending twists on traditional tales, Fear the Unknown Men leans heavily on the tired tropes of yore. Stock characters such as the brooding bounty hunter re-enact scenes we’ve seen a hundred times before with little imagination, and a criminal lack of anything original to say.

The short film at least looks the part, with a good-looking set and costumes, while a lovely, long tracking shot adds a touch of class early on.

But some polished cinematography can’t rescue Fear the Unknown Men from an entirely forgettable fate.

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Luke Shelley is a London based Director and Writer, known for work on a variety of films and projects. Luke has recently graduated with a degree in Digital Film Production from Ravensbourne University. In 2015, Luke directed ‘Storey’ starring Nigel Barber & Michael Kennedy, which he co-wrote and ‘Inquest of Desire’, a film noir, which he co-wrote and co-directed. Luke has directed, 2016, a short Cold War drama called ‘Dropkick’ starring Nigel Barber and Pippa Winslow and also finished work on a western short ‘Fear The Unknown Men’. Luke has also begun development on a music based drama feature ‘Moroni: A Life in Full Swing’, which is set to direct.

A troubled sheriff must confront his demons in the form of a notorious gang with the help of a mysterious stranger, determined to collect the wanted men’s bounty. But will the sheriff be able to rise up and put his past behind him?


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Having previously written for Junxion17 and The Big Issue, Ben is now a film PR & Marketing Manager. When he's not watching or working on movies, Ben plays guitar in his band Ghosts As Alibis.