This is every fatal attraction thriller you've ever seen, only
a few years earlier. Created with non-discriminating teens in mind,
FEAR is an inane, laughably bad movie with little originality, even
in casting. 1993's THE CRUSH starred a then-unknown Alicia
Silverstone, this one stars the beautiful and precocious Reese
Witherspoon, who is a cross between Silverstone and Candace
Cameron from "Full House." This time, the psycho villain role goes
not to the leading lady but to "Marky" Mark Wahlberg. And you
wondered if there was any redeeming value in FEAR...
Reese's life is typical -- superficial shopping and school
work. She spends a lot of her time arguing with her father. When
she shouts in the opening scene that she has "to ask permission to
breathe" and storms out of the room, Dad replies sarcastically,
"Does this count as quality time?" No, and it definitely doesn't
count as quality writing. This exchange establishes early on two
vital components of the movie -- horrendous dialogue and bad
Who better to contribute to the bad acting than B-movie
queen Alyssa Milano? She plays Reese's best friend, already skilled
in the ways of sex with no-good older men. Alyssa's philosophy on
relationships is, "It's power." Reese replies, "It's nuts," to Alyssa's
response, "It doesn't feel good to be wanted?" None of us have any
idea what she's talking about; after all, she hasn't been wanted since
"Who's the Boss?" went off the air.
Reese soon meets Marky Mark at the local teen nightclub,
his opening line to her being, "Hey... you're not dancing." She could
have sent him packing with the response, "You're not charting," but
she instead revels in his advances because it's power, and it feels
good to be wanted. She talks and kisses him until two in the
morning, by which time her step-mom is yelling at her and she's
shooting back sarcastic responses. Dad's out of town on a business
trip, but Marky Mark's ready to charm him and the rest of the family
(including the dog) when he gets back. It's such a good vibration, it's
such a sweet sensation...
Alyssa is also ready to charm Dad when he gets back, with
some of the most ridiculous double entendres in movie history. She
asks him to come to a carnival with her, saying, "You could ride the
bumper cars... You could do that thing where you throw the ball at
something and maybe win me a stuffed animal." Luckily, that
subplot never goes anywhere, but what is immediately established
is Dad's mistrust of Marky Mark. He can't put his finger on what he
doesn't like about Mark (he's just so... marky) until he finds a used
condom wrapper in his daughter's bedroom.
Yes, Mark is hot for Reese's peanut butter cups, and takes
her virginity during another of Dad's business trips. (That guy's got
to find a new job!) The PG sex scenes in this R-rated movie are teen
love at its finest, as a remake of the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses"
plays and this sexy dialogue exchange takes place.
MARK: Do you want me?
MARK: Tell me you want me.
REESE: I want you.
The honeymoon is soon over, though, as Marky Mark
shows his violent streak and threatens various members of the
family. FEAR seems at least twice as long as it is, the various plot
twists and developments apparent to most audience members a
mile away until. There's not much good about FEAR, especially
since every other made-for-video movie nowadays features this
plot with a lot more sex thrown in. This movie should have never
even made it to theaters. Just ship it directly to Cinemax and save
us some time.
Copyright © 1996 Andrew Hicks