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Complex of Fear (1993)

TV Movie  |   |  Mystery, Crime, Thriller  |  12 January 1993 (USA)
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Condominium residents are terrified when they learn that two of their neighbors have been brutally raped and that the culprit may be living in their midst. A police manhunt ensues. One ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Dolan
Det. Frank Farrel
Michelle Dolan
Ed Wylie
Farrah Forke ...
Doreen Wylie
Stan Evans
Lee Harrison
Penny Evans
Ann Bronston ...
Michele Little ...
Kathryn Firago ...
Terry Beaver ...


Condominium residents are terrified when they learn that two of their neighbors have been brutally raped and that the culprit may be living in their midst. A police manhunt ensues. One officer, who actually lives in the complex, is particularly troubled, for not only do the incidents cause his wife to admit that she was a victim of date rape, he is also the one who had a chance to kill the rapist and didn't. Written by Dylan Conner

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

12 January 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le domaine de la peur  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Routine crime docudrama
12 April 2004 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

There's nothing terribly wrong with this movie, and there's nothing that lifts it out of the ordinary. The acting is generally competent, the direction proficient, and the apartment complex that provides the main (almost the only) setting for the story is attractive in its own quietly Southern garden apartment way. It looks like Myrtle Beach or someplace, but there is a brief shot of a much larger city, so who knows?

It should hold your interest, but somehow, though, it doesn't really click. After the first couple of rapes, the handsome Hart Bochner's wife (Chelsea Field, a conventionally beautiful knockout) confesses to him that she was raped before they were married. Instead of being sympathetic, he comes up with, "Why didn't you tell me before we were married?" And mutters, "Makes me wonder what else I don't know about you." He also stops being, well, physically affectionate for more than three weeks. The issue of the hypermoral cop who can't forgive what he perceives as his wife's misbehavior is lifted out of "Detective Story" and the issue is left unresolved after it's been brought up.

The suspicion grows that the rapist not only preys upon wives in this complex but lives there himself. The possible suspects are examined but no one seems more culpable than anybody else until, in the last few minutes, the rapist's identity is revealed and he turns out to be just one of the several guys who could have done it. Thanks to the writers, though, the rapist's only explanation is that he did it because he could do it -- because the challenge was there. (That's why they climb mountains too, isn't it?) He was never beaten or abused as a child, nor does he suffer from waxy yellow buildup.

This guy, though, must be one of the dumbest serial rapists in existence. He prowls around in his ski mask in the dark while a half dozen cops armed with rifles are stationed about the compound. If the cops are searching the surrounding woods, he shows up there too, leaving a pile of cigarette butts behind him. Oh, yes. He's a smoker. One victim describes his breath as "horrible." Warning: smoking can be hazardous to your exculpability.

How can a man rape a woman anyway? They must be a special breed, combining anger and the use of force with sexuality -- usually two antagonistic responses. And their victims, frightened and arid, can't be much help. Many rapists claim to have been drunk at the time, but that strikes a normal person as an even more preposterous statement. Fortunately there are effective behavioral treatments available, called aversion therapy. The technique itself is simple. The rapist is shown a movie depicting a simulated rape. He wears a ring around his penis that detects an erection. He is shown movies of simulated rapes. When an erection of sufficient intensity takes place the rapist is given a slight but unpleasant shock through electrodes on his thighs. Good-bye erection. After repeated sessions the erections pretty much go away entirely, although booster shots may be necessary from time to time.

Anyway, good use is made of that rather high-end apartment complex. The movies is claustrophobic, everything seems closed in and potentially threatening. We get to see virtually nothing of the wider community.

It's worth watching but not worth expending effort on.

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