Double Take F stands for Fear

If this movie has taught us anything is it’s not so glamorous going after the bad boy. Try out the nice guys for once.

Back in 1996 a gem was released called Fear. This film taking place in Seattle, my hometown, already had a hold on me in interest. This was also a part of Seattle that I didn’t live in. I was about the same age as the main character in the film but I wasn’t a part of the grunge rock generation discovering sex, alcohol, and being rebellious. All I know is when I saw the trailer I saw an exciting thriller that was rated R that I just had to see. I don’t have much memory watching this at the movies but once I did watch it I remember making this one of those movies I had to include in my collection. I remember the movie being fun, suspenseful, violent, and satisfying as all the other thrillers that made my heart pound. I want to re-watch it to see if it still packs that same punch it had for me back then.

What, it doesn’t feel good to be wanted?

What a time to be innocent where you can make mistakes, rebel against your parents, go out all night, and live out your fantasies by dating the guy that is completely wrong for you. All of this is played out in this 97 min. film where you see what happens when you want a little excitement, some attention, someone to want you, someone to love. This story is played out through the eyes of Nicole Walker (Reese Witherspoon) and her family in Seattle, WA. Now of course for any family to be realistic on film means that it can’t be perfect. The Walkers has a mom, dad, two kids (boy and girl) even a dog. They have a two-story house, they make a decent living, seems perfect right? Well it turns out that the parents (William Petersen and Amy Brenneman) recently married each bringing in their own kid to the fold. Nicole is daughter of Steve Walker who is a workaholic trying to make the best of having a teenage girl trying her hardest not to be daddy’s little girl anymore, a step son who he still wants to be looked at as his father, and balancing work and home life with his life but instead is always called away to work. The result causes Nicole to rebel and not really feel wanted at home. Then comes David McCall (Mark Walhberg) who is a big strong charismatic  gentlemen who shows Nicole that its okay to have some fun. He brings the romance by saying all the right things but providing just enough danger to keep her wanting more. You look into his eyes and you are hypnotized. You listen to his voice and you just want to melt. When you see the car he drives, you will see what I mean. Just like that Nicole is the center of attention and she is able to be happy where she can escape from the shaky home life. What starts off as an innocent romance turns into obsession as David McCall is not who he seems and he starts to show his true colors. A father knows you can’t keep your daughter from her first romance. He tries and it just escalates from there.

Let’s talk about the infamous rollercoaster scene with the song Wild Horses. I can honestly say that I had no idea what was going on.

Film Title: FearNo matter what age you are or year you were born. If you are in your mid teens and you start dating, hanging out with friends more than being at home with family, you can relate to this movie. The film provides that escape every young girl wants. To feel alive, to have that trust with someone and feeling free. Watching this over I noticed that their romance was rushed. Apparently it was love at first sight. within ten minutes of footage once they met each other, he was already at their house meeting the family. There was no development of their relationship. This movie however gets a pass because for most, that is how fast it happens at that age. It isn’t realistic but it makes sense. There was a lot of sexual tension and forbidden desires in this movie. Let’s talk about the infamous rollercoaster scene with the song Wild Horses. I can honestly say that I had no idea what was going on. Call me naïve but it wasn’t clear that is what he was doing.

Alyssa Milano’s character Margo played sort of the opposite of innocent Nicole providing sort of that girl who you don’t want to be yet you feel like you should in order to be cool or accepted. You get this feeling like Nicole has to catch up to her. When in fact, Margo yearns to be more like Nicole. She likes that family life, the innocence, and being protected by loved ones. We hear her mom’s voice in the background in one scene but we don’t get a good look at her life at home or if she even has more than just her mom at home. Her character had some really good lines in the movie.  All of a sudden, when you know that David is a little off, the movie just turns into this violent rollercoaster ride that escalates giving you those edge of your seat moments that don’t hold back. I mean it gets violent and it still pays off in my opinion.


FEAR, women from left: Amy Brenneman, Reese Witherspoon, Alyssa Milano, 1996, © Universal

So I love the cast. I think they were cast perfectly to the roles they were given. The movie catering to the MTV generation, the soundtrack was great featuring music from Bush and even Mark Walhberg himself. The title of the film definitely plays a part in different ways. Fear runs into each of them whether it’s the fear of losing your first love, fear of losing the love of your family, your daughter, fear that you won’t be the best step-mom or step-dad. That fear that you are not in control. It causes the characters to make decisions and blind themselves with what is going on. Movies like The Craft, Hackers, and also Fear are examples of movies that still hold up to how they did in the 90’s because they touch on subject matter that will always go on no matter what decade you live in. The writing could have used a little work in the pace and the course of the relationship. I would still recommend this movie, check out Reese and Mark’s earlier work. They are both really great in it.

4 out of 5


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