Monday, November 19, 2012

Fear (1996)

I'm getting more than a little tired of the cliche of the older guy who goes after teenage girls (there are a million erotic/romantic thrillers that cater to this stereotype), who even acts all nice and sweet at first, only to go totally psychotic later as if to prove the point that these guys are always bad news. It's like telling teenage girls everywhere, "you know, even if he's nice to you and treats you well, it's just an illusion and he'll try to kill you the moment you let your guard down, after he's told you he loves you and tricked you into thinking he's the right person to give up your virginity to." (Assuming you still have it).

Aside from that, Fear turned out to be a really good movie. Mark Wahlberg does a great job of crafting a character that is unsettlingly sweet at first, but selectively drops that facade to reveal the very intimidating sociopath underneath. And Reese Witherspoon - while not exactly convincing as a 16 year old high school student - has the innocent charm to pull off her role as the naive teen. Curiously, her character wears a lot of scandalously short skirts, but I'm definitely not complaining. You do have your requisite scenes of father/daughter tension with regards to the questionable boyfriend, but the movie manages to avoid being too gratingly stereotypical in the final analysis.

And what really sets this movie apart is how the family pulls together in the end - not in the saccharine ending sort of way - but to put aside their dramatic differences to band together against the impending threat that ultimate becomes clearly unambiguous. And the threat manifests itself in the form of a (somewhat spoiler) rather frightening and very exciting home invasion sequence. And on top of all that, this movie has some decent '90s music, including a cover of Wild Horses. Plus, the ero-mantic roller coaster scene was pure genius. Result is, it was actually a lot better than I was expecting it to be, and in my opinion, raises itself to a level above your average mid-'90s teen thriller.

No comments:

Post a Comment