Monday, January 21, 2013

The Fear

Buried alive in the pine box
is my deepest fear
Morty's coming...

- Esham

First of all, let's get one thing straight. Yes, this movie was made in the '90s but this is NOT the Marky Mark/Reese Witherspoon cheese/angst fest. Nope. This is a totally different horror movie about something completely different. There. Now let's get another thing straight. I have no idea what the hell is going in it.

The Fear is one of those movies you want to like, and you kind of like but if people ask you why you like it, you'd say something like, "Well it totally sucked BUT..." Yeah. This is that kind of movie. It's a "it sucked but" movie.

We start off with a campus rapist that has nothing to do with the plot but then are introduced to our main character, Richard or as I call him Andy Garcia Lite. He is taking a few people with him to a cabin in the woods (yeah) for a thesis he's working on, the subject being fear. With him is his stoner friend Troy, his prissy girlfriend Ashley, Vance and Mindy - a cute couple who really don't look or act like a proper couple and along the way they pick up Troy's "sister" and her boytoy whose up to no good.

Once up there we get a jumpscare when Ashley opens a cupboard to find Morty - a life-size pinnochio type mannequin with eyes that seem to follow you around the room. They get to dicussing their greatest fears around Morty and surprise, surprise - bad things happen.

I'm a total sucker for evil doll movies as well as "Ten Little Idiots" movies where people are picked off one by one (and no idiots isn't a typo). So this movie has that going for it - but it's still almost a total waste. Many of the actors try gamely with what they are given, but there's simply no plot/character development. The committment/girlfriend thing between Andy Garcia Lite (or AGL as I will now call him) and Ashley is tired and played out. The rapist/mother/incest plot makes no sense at all, especially if you do the age math, and the "climax" of the film involves solving a puzzle (ala a skull-like Rubix cube thing) while AGL's legs are being dragged into a grave and Morty dances around and does nothing. Because solving the handheld puzzle abolishes AGL's inner demons. Or something. As I said, I'm still not quite sure what the hell happened.

In fact for a movie about fear, there doesn't seem to be much fear floating around. People's fears/demons are thrown around this way and that and due to some poor writing/editing, we really don't care. It's just another ridiculous thing that happens until the next ridiculous thing. Okay, here's a guy who says his Daddy was a preacher, he's been crucified. Hey there's that girl on the Christmas town train ride -oops, she's been raped. And what's up with what happened to AGL's Mom? What's up with the masks? What's up with, well, anything?

And then there's Morty.

Let's get yet another thing straight. Morty looks TERRIFIC. This was a guy who could have been the next Freddy Krueger in the right hands. Morty looks and moves like he's made out of wood and the actor gives him a wonderful menacing look solely with his eyes. This thing is damn scary. Which is why it doesn't make any sense to concentrate on the puesdo-pyscho babble when they should have concentrated on Morty. Morty could have had his own franchise - as it is, he's just another wasted opportunity.

So, in the whole "it sucks but..." scenario, what exactly is the BUT? Well as horrible as The Fear is, I found myself entertained by it all, enough to watch it a second time. I still had no idea what was going on but I never got bored, which for me, is the death knell of any horror movie. So for that and Morty, you may want to check it out. Just don't be surpised to hear yourself saying "it sucks but." And yes, I know how that sounds.

Favorite Moments (may contain spoilers):
  • Diametric, Diametric, DIAMETRIC!
  • So Troy's sister is his mother? And she had him when she was 15? So why did she have a facelift if she's like, 35? Cause that's what it would make her. I suppose I just shouldn't think about it really. Forget it. My brain hurts.
  • The bimbo blonde throwaway character surviving the entire movie and her reaction. Seriously, that girl was entertaining.
  • Any scene with Morty. Damn you Morty!
  • The ending credits which gave us that awesome Esham song.
    DEE-TROIT Represent!
Fun Facts Kids!
  • Wes Craven appears in a cameo as AGL's mentor/professor at the beginning and end of the film.
  • Diatmetric is an anagram of matricide. Funny how the mind works, huh?
  • Followed by a sequel - Fear 2: Resurrection which featured an entirely different (and considerably thicker) actor playing Morty.
  • Director Vincent Robert's first and last directorial effort.
  • The DVD is actually edited beyond belief with a couple of nude scenes and foul language (and even not so foul, like the word "ass") removed, even though it's listed as an R rated film. The only way to watch the original version is to find it on VHS.
Agree? Disagree? Or just have a random string of curse words you'd like to share? Comment!

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