Fear (1996)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller, Teen Movie  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Adam Goldberg

Fear is a lackluster and predictable thriller in the vein of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and Sleeping With the Enemy. While it follows the classic formula of transforming a seemingly nice character into a raging psychopath, the film seems more like Fatal Attraction without any real "attraction." Even though Mark Wahlberg's maniacal character is referred to as "Travis Bickle," the narrative completely lacks the style and intensity of Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver and Cape Fear. One can't help but wonder if director James Foley and cinematographer Thomas Kloss are aware that they are working with the sort of substandard material that Hollywood has spewed forth numerous times before. The home invasion finale is clearly intended to be an homage to Straw Dogs, but ultimately becomes more campy than Night of the Living Dead. Foley desperately attempts to make Fear a high-octane and dramatic thriller, but the end result is nothing more than a dull and uninspired "boyfriend from hell" tale led by a cartoonish Mark Wahlberg.