Fear (1996)

How many times have you lied when someone has come on to you in a bar to avoid a confrontation or an insult? I used to be guilty of it. You wear a ring on your wedding finger, you pretend your friend is your girlfriend, you tell them you have a boyfriend … sometimes it is just easier than saying you aren’t interested and being told ‘You’re ugly anyway!’, or ‘I did it for a bet!’ or having one of those guys that just won’t take no for an answer sexually harass you until you have to destroy his fragile masculinity.

It’s not an attack on men, because my male friends have had similar experiences, but lies,  even little kind ones, are not the solution. By softening the rejection, you are just going along with the idea that you owe that person something. You don’t owe anybody anything, and if you aren’t interested in someone then you don’t have to make excuses for that.

Controlling behaviour is becoming a worrying trend in modern relationships, with violence and obsessional conduct on the up. Nothing says that my partner doesn’t trust me like a joint couples account, or going through your partners phone or emails. People saying things like ‘Oh, my boyfriend doesn’t like me wearing makeup/short skirts/low cut tops …’, ‘I made him delete all of the girl’s numbers from his phone’ are all things we have heard or witnessed first-hand at some point, and it is scary how normal these sort of conversations have become.

This is not an issue exclusive to any gender either; the myth of ‘the One’ perpetuated by twisted so called romances such as Twilight and Fifty Shades of Bad Writing, are normalising and romanticising  abuse and obsession, creating narcissistic and insecure individuals who cannot handle rejection and separation in love.

Stalking and abuse isn’t a Hollywood issue, and it can and does happen to anyone. It has happened to me. It is a serious issue and isn’t always about romantic connections, it can be a stranger or a lover, it can be a friend or an enemy, and it is always something you should record and report.

From the second a person starts to exhibit behaviour that is controlling or obsessive make it clear that you will not stand for it, get out, go to the police, tell your friends and family, and cut off all communication.

Fear is a film about a naive young sixteen year old (Reece Witherspoon)who falls in love with an older man (Marky Mark Wahlberg), who becomes violent and possessive. After being rejected by her he begins a campaign of brutality and harassment against her family and friends in a warped attempt to win her back, ending in a terrifying final confrontation.

For a nineties thriller, Fear is a pretty good film. Surprisingly atmospheric and Wahlberg’s menacing performance should be credited as the disturbed David, and the young Witherspoon’s doe eyed innocent is the perfect cast for the part.  In no way, unpredictable or genre breaking, but this story of love gone bad, and a family in turmoil is stronger than your average movie and an undeniably enjoyable watch.

Some stories are told for fun, and some are told to highlight real issues. However unrealistic or silly some films may get for entertainment value, the basic story they are trying to tell, is sometimes the important thing that gets lost.

This entry was posted in 90's horror, critique, fiction, film and media, mental illness, murder, opinion, psychological horror, psychotic killer, revenge, Slasher, thriller, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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