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Fear
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Reviews & Ratings for
Fear More at IMDbPro »

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59 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

A clever and enthralling discovery into obsession and agression.

Author: misohungry (moviearistocrat5000@hotmail.com) from New Zealand
29 October 2001

FEAR (1996) Rating: 8/10

While this movie had mixed opinions from critics, I thought it was thoroughly underrated. I didn't really see what this movie didn't have to please people around the globe. It had a story, and an intriguing one at that, it had a lot of genres to mix its story up in, it had well-developed characters – especially the character of the father – and it had excellent direction, acting and a great script that explores further into the world of terror. The film succeeds highly because of its characters and the original bunch they are. Reese Witherspoon plays the short-skirt wearing, blonde-haired and extremely family-bound and nice young girl that gets involved with a psychopath and doesn't know how to take it. Mark Wahlberg plays this psychopath excellently, his character is someone obsessed with Witherspoon's character and we will go to any great lengths to protect her and assure that his and her relationship is safe. And then he gets violent, very violent, and the outcome is horrifying. The father is not the most original character in the film, but the most developed. He is the caring, brave and extremely clever dad who wants the best for his daughter but doesn't want to hurt her. Anyway, enough about the characters. The rest of the movie rocks too – the script is surprisingly original for its premise, taking the boy-meets-girl, girl-dumps-boy, boy-gets-angry angle to new areas in psychological horror. The suspense scenes are incredibly tense and the movie has some gut-wrenchingly scary but incredibly good ideas. I really enjoyed the director's point of view and liked the way he built his film as each of the characters slowly drifts off. I appreciated this thriller a lot and think it is worth your time, but beware, you're in for a pretty darn scary and atmospheric ride!

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35 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Far Better Than I Expected It To Be

7/10
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
3 September 2005

I had very low hopes for FEAR . I'd read the synopsis in the TV guide and the plot sounded like one of those psycho killer stalker from hell thrillers that were being churned out without any thought in the mid 1990s . Considering it starred singer Marky Mark , Reese Witherspoon and William Petersen who's a rival to Eric Roberts in the straight to video / cable TV movie stakes I didn't think this was going to be up to much

While not being a classic thriller FEAR certainly did hold my attention , probably because much of the characterisation is credible . All too often in this genre the actor or actress playing the villain really goes to town showing the audience what a bad ass they are thereby parodying the role . Mark Wahlberg as David is very restrained for the most part which makes David and credible character and his on screen chemistry with Reese Witherspoon's Nicole is believable , you can believe these two characters are genuinely in love with one another something that is all too rare in this type of movie

I should also point out that much of the movie revolves around the interaction of Petersen's Mr Walker who is concerned about his daughter's relationship with David . You can't blame the guy for wanting what's best for his offspring and it enhances the credibility of the story . It's refreshing to have a more thoughtful approach to this type of genre because if people start turning up dead after 15 minutes then things start to get silly , so the violence is kept to a minimum until almost at the end of the movie which does suffer something of a plot hole because no one seems to have a mobile telephone at readily hand and don't tell me professional people didn't have mobile phones in 1996 . Also watch out for references to STRAW DOGS , THE SHINING and NOSFERATU at the climax

Even if you're burned out on those 90s stalker from hell thrillers you could do worse than watch this on a wet Friday evening

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26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Works Quite Well

Author: Deniro68 from United States
16 October 1999

Movie like this either reach out and pull you in or they don't. Fear pulled me in. I rented this movie about a week after Halloween of 1996 and put it in my VCR not sure what to expect. 2 hours later I ejected the movie from the VCR feeling somewhat dazed and overwhelmed. Fear isn't a classic. But it works well. It is scary, violent gory and well made. The reason it works so well is because it was made by people who knew what they were doing. The whole stalker style of movies is full of uninspired trash that sounds like it was made for the USA network.

Fear stands heads and shoulders above that (And to some extent above the original Fatal Attraction). It's not afraid to push, to pull us inside, to scare us and give us a good conclusion at the end, one that movies of this type always mess up.

***

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25 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly entertaining, despite the negative reviews

8/10
Author: Raydio from Deloraine, Tasmania
17 August 2001

The story behind the film "Fear" is nothing new. Obsessive love leading to dangerous fatal attraction. But I'm not ashamed to say that I really enjoyed watching this movie. To be sure, there were the typical cliches (did anyone not know that the security guard was SO dead!). However, the action in the film keeps things moving along at a steady pace, and the tension builds towards the reasonably satisfying climax. Performances by the lead characters were generally quite good. I found Mark Wahlbergs character to be quite convincing and quite menacing, though I agree he would certainly benefit from some speech coaching. The two young female leads, Reese Witherspoon and Alyssa Milano, did a good job playing the victims, and certainly add value to the film for their attractiveness alone. The standout performance for me was that of William L. Petersen as the father. Most of his actions/reactions rang true to me. Was "Fear" a great movie? Not really. Was it a good, satisfying and ultimately entertaining way to spend 97 minutes? Yes indeed. Even my wife stayed awake till the end, and that's worth an 8/10 alone.

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21 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Above average psycho thriller

7/10
Author: preppy-3 from United States
20 December 2000

Nice, innocent teen Nicole (Reese Witherspoon) falls for handsome, muscular, soft spoken David (Mark Wahlberg) not knowing he's a psycho who wants her--forever. Good thing she's got a nice, muscular, protective father (William Petersen).

OK, it's no masterpiece and the plot is very familiar, but I was never bored. It's well-directed (especially a roller coaster ride), has beautiful scenery and architecture (look at the house where Witherspoon lives with her family) and a script that, if not always credible, never stops moving. The last 20 minutes really rock. A little unpleasant at times though. As for the acting--Witherspoon is OK. At times, she's totally believable--other times she's not. And she's obviously over 17. Petersen is very good playing the understanding, protective dad. A nice, understated performance. Mark Wahlberg is (surprisingly) very good as the psycho. He plays the nice guy and the evil guy very effectively. REALLY nice bod too--what a chest! But he needs some serious voice lessons--his Boston accent kept creeping in. So, a pretty good thriller. You could do worse.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Great Story and Performances

7/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
22 December 2013

The sixteen year-old teenager Nicole Walker (Reese Witherspoon) has moved to the house by the lake of her father, the architect Steve Walker (William Petersen), to live with her stepmother Laura (Amy Brenneman) and her brother Toby (Christopher Gray). Her best friends are Margo Masse (Alyssa Milano) and Gary Rohmer (Todd Caldecott) that study with her in the high school. When Nicole meets David McCall (Mark Wahlberg) in a night-club, she has a crush on and dates him. David becomes obsessed by Nicole and one day he sees her friend Gary kissing and hugging her and he hits him. Nicole breaks with him but David continues to follow her. Steve decides to investigate the young man and he finds that he is an orphan that has spent most of his life in reformatories. The hell breaks loose in Nicole's life when David kills Gary and trashes the Mustang of her father. Steve breaks in his house and destroys everything inside. Now David and his gang go to Steve's house to payback.

"Fear" is a good movie, with great story and performances. I saw this movie for the first time in the late 90's on VHS and last Friday I saw it again on DVD, and the plot seems to be more realistic in the present days of violence and fear in many worldwide cities. This is also a great opportunity to see Reese Witherspoon very young and cute, and Mark Wahlberg perfect performing a manipulative psychopath. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Medo" ("Fear")

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16 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Not as bad as you might expect...

6/10
Author: insomniac_rod from Noctropolis
22 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Fear" is a teen thriller with no intentions others than entertain the audience and show good looking teen stars like Mark Wahlberg, Reese Whiterspoon, and the always lovely Alyssa Milano. This is not a good movie by any means but it has positive things to underline. First, Wahlberg and Whiterspoon can act and their performances are the best thing about the movie. Milano is a delight to watch even that she's not very required in the movie but still shines in the few minutes she appears. Second and best of all; "Fear" goes directly to the point and makes it very easy to watch.

*SPOILERS* There's nothing much to comment about "Fear" except for some infamous scenes like the dog's head, the drilling in the hand, and the three sex scenes.

There are some Slasher elements a la Scream in this movie that in the time were very effective (stabbing, dog's head cut off, minimal gore, and a psycho killer) and worked very well in order to create a tense atmosphere. The ending is quite predictable and expected. The actors they chose perform surprisingly good. If the plot is not very interesting then the least you can expect is to feel some sympathy for the characters. Whiterspoon is tender and beautiful and you totally believe her when she has different feelings for her boyfriend. Wahlberg delivers a good performance as a crazed angry boyfriend. Come on, everybody feels anger jealous acts... this is exactly where I think that "Fear" succeeds. The movie is directed to a teenager audience that immediately feels similarities in their personal life with the events of it. The movie works in that aspect and there's no question about it.

Watch it with minimal expectations and you will be surprised maybe a little.

6/10

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Very predictable, and with an ending that would make Dustin Hoffman blush. But entertaining nonetheless

6/10
Author: JSwallowX1 from Ireland
5 January 2013

"Fear" is a slightly-above average thriller at best, boasting fine performances from Mark Wahlberg, Reese Witherspoon and William Petersen. Nicole Walker is sixteen years-old and living with her businessman father and step-mother and brother in a luxurious, well fortified and secure pad. When reluctantly skipping school one day with her rebellious friends, she spots the hunk David McCall (Mark Wahlberg) - wearing a tight black sweater to accentuate them pecs, of course, playing pool with his misfit, drug-addled pals. She later meets him at a rave, and before long, they are dating. David is perfect, it seems. He's strong, caring, sweet and gentle, and Nicole falls in love with him. But it isn't long before David's true colours start to show. And when she ends it with him, he begins to stalk her before eventually, he gets nasty...

"Fear" runs smoothly at a nice pace over a very agreeable run-time. Mark Wahlberg is superb as a psychopath, while Reese Witherspoon is believable as a naive and innocent sixteen year-old girl (Considering she was 20 at the time). William Petersen, best known for his career with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation", is commendable as he gives Dustin Hoffman's heroics in "Straw Dogs" a run for it's money at the end. Overall, this is a decent thriller, albeit nothing special really. It's pretty tense in parts, but Wahlberg's performance was really key to this films success.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Love hurts. Especially when it's Obsessive!

6/10
Author: Danny Blankenship from Petersburg, Virginia
29 January 2009

Over the years I've caught bits and pieces of this film many times on cable and even premium movie channels. Just finally I decided to sit down and watch it all and I must say overall "Fear" is a pretty decent mind thriller. It's theme fits well with teenage love obsession and the stalker crisis. And the cast here is well known it features some of the early work for most of them before they would go on to TV fame(Brenneman, Milano, and Petersen) and movie stardom(Wahlberg and Witherspoon). Set in Seattle, Washington a teenage girl the innocent and pretty Nicole(in one of Reese's earliest roles)lives with her father Steve(William Petersen)and stepmother Laura(Amy Brenneman)and Nicole has a good loving family life yet her parents are to overprotective and she starts to give into the pressure of her peers especially from her best friend the free spirited and sleazy Margo(the hot Alyssa Milano). It's upon their partying and club going that Nicole meets a young and innocent and nice talking young man named David(Mark Wahlberg). Yet appearances and personalities can be deceiving as after David seduces Nicole and she loses her innocence and develops a false trust surely enough David begins a violent obsession with her. Her family sees it and warns her, eventually this leads to drama all concluding with violence and a hostage situation with Nicole's family that was brought on by David and his thug friends. Yet in the end Nicole will grow to learn love is blind as she faces her fear. Pretty decent thriller of the stalker mode with some early performances from what would later be big stars in both TV and film. So give it a watch some late night on cable or premium TV.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Do you remember what it was like to fall in love for the first time?

7/10
Author: Dan Grant (dan.grant@bell.ca) from Toronto, Ontario
12 August 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Warning: may contain some small spoilers

It's really funny, with better marketing this film may have done better business. What I remember seeing about this film was how evil and maniacal David was going to be. You knew going into the film that he was going to do some really bad things after his facade as the good boyfriend was over. But really, the whole first half of this film has the same feeling as Pretty In Pink or Some Kind Of Wonderful.

When I was watching how Nicole ( Witherspoon )was quickly falling for David's charm and sweetness, I was intrigued. There are some great moments in here that explore young love and my favourite scene in the film and one of my favourite scenes ever that deals with young virginal sexuality, is the roller coaster scene in the film. Everything about it was pure and honest. David ( Wahlberg ) and Nicole get into the front seat of the roller coaster and she is wearing a very short skirt. The ride begins and then the music starts. The song is Wild Horses by a group that I am not familiar with ( no, it is not the Stones ) and they begin to move. David begins to inch his hand cautiously up her skirt. Her facial expressions are perfect. She is apprehensive but excited and after a brief resistance, she lets him touch her. The roller coaster ride becomes a metaphor for how she is feeling. Nicole has now just had her first sexual experience of any kind and David has her. He knows it's only a matter of time before he will take her virginity and she knows it as well.

On this level, the film is perfect. Exploring young love is a delicate situation but director Foley handles it with ease and he even shows the beauty of how love can make you feel. It's just too bad that the film has to take a different path at the conclusion because this could have been a great coming of age love story. I'm not saying the psycho elements to the film are terrible, I'm just saying that the innocence of the love story seems to work and fit better in here. This is a film that reminds us of what it was like to fall in love for the first time and what it was like to make love the first time. And I enjoyed it for that.

I do recommend seeing this film but it just seems like two movies that could have been one. But it is enjoyable and the actors in here are great. Even Mylano and Petersen as Nicole's best friend and father respectively are fun to watch. So it is a good film. But again, not to be redundant, but I liked the innocence of it better than the vigor.

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