Fear Itself (2008–2009)
7 user 8 critic


A young couple move into a secure gated community and discover its horrifying secret.


Mary Harron


Mick Garris (creator), Kelly Kennemer




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Brandon Routh ... Bobby
Shiri Appleby ... Tracy
Barbara Tyson ... Candace
John Billingsley ... Phil
Charlie Hofheimer ... Scott
Brooklyn Sudano ... Arlene
Peter Strand Rumpel ... Ron
Tom Carey ... Simmons
James D. Hopkin James D. Hopkin ... Andrew
Meredith Bailey Meredith Bailey ... Heather
Alexandra Fatovich ... Meryl (as Alex Fatovich)
Emily Talia Emily Talia ... Sandra
Jordan Schartner Jordan Schartner ... Ken
Janice Ryan Janice Ryan
Joel Duncan


Bobby (Brandon Routh) and Tracy (Shiri Appleby) believe they have found the perfect place to raise a family in the secured and closed community ran by Candace (Barbara Tyson). Not long after they moved in, Bobby starts to feel uneasy by the unusual and forced influence of the neighbors on his family life. And he will find out that perfection is unreachable... No matter how hard you seek for it! Written by ricardovs27

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Release Date:

24 July 2008 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Two of this episode's stars (Brandon Routh as main character Bobby, and Bonita Friedericy as scared neighbor lady Debra Fabre) went on to work together in another NBC series "Chuck" during its 3rd season, playing the parts of Agent Daniel Shaw and General Diane Beckman, respectively. See more »

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User Reviews

Superior Writing Ruined by Time Constraints
5 August 2008 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

A young couple decides to move into a community -- called the Commons -- without reading through their contract. Big mistake. Now they're trapped in a world where they are obligated to make babies, have their sex life viewed by others via closed-circuit television, and dissent could lead to death or worse. This is one contract that may not have an escape clause. John Billingsley also appears as a community member who is no longer thrilled.

Directed by Mary Harron ("American Psycho") and written by a dude named Kelly Kennemer, I think this is probably the best-written episode in the series so far. Sure, you can slam the "wooden" acting of the stars, but the story itself is brilliant. (I've heard it compared to "Hot Fuzz" and I think it has qualities of "Wicker Man", but it goes beyond that). To be able to have a commune in modern times in a modern city and have it make sense, that is a feat that deserves credit.

A problem I had was that the episode is too short, though this is by no means the fault of the creators. We are shown the story in spurts and jumps, although we could easily be shown the plot in real-time, developing the characters more. Questions are raised if you think about it -- who controls the police, does the head of community have a boss and what happens if she breaks a rule? This could be played out in a television series, where the trouble is only reveals a bit at a time until the dissent reaches a breaking point. I would watch it.

There's another issue I had, which I cannot really get into here for fear of spoiling the episode. But the basic point is this: one character changed their entire personality without explanation. Maybe this is something that could be explained if it was a series, but it wasn't explained at all on the show and made no sense. Not even a little bit. So, what the heck? (Compare this to the end of "Screwfly Solution" with its abrupt change in plot, pacing and direction.) Regardless of the flaws, still this stands as solid writing and a great addition to the series -- and one of the few episodes that doesn't focus on serial killing or murder, but just good old-fashioned suspense and terror. I want more of this. Thank you Mary Harron, and thank you Kelly. I expect more greatness in the future.

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