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A movie directed by James Foley

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Obsession mortelle

  • Aug 25, 2002
Pros: Momma said there'd be days like this

Cons: violence, drugs, sex

The Bottom Line: Not the best but not the worst

When sweet & loving Nicole Walker (Reese Witherspoon) loses her mother, she goes to live with her father, stepmother & stepbrother in a remote house on a lake. An exclusive area, surrounded by lush forest, this is a gated community. Daddy (William Petersen) knows little about his daughter, now 16 years old, whom he has spent little time with in the past 10 years.

Daddy is also an architect that has built an impenetrable fortress for his new family.

As most 16 year olds will do when meeting the ‘other’ woman in her fathers life, she rebels against Laura (Amy Brenneman) and the restrictions her new family puts on her. Underneath all that angst is really a sweet girl, kind of shy, a little afraid of the newness. She has found a best friend in the guise of Margo (Alyssa Milano) and a nerdy sort, Gary ( Todd Caldecott ). Margo isn’t really a bad girl, just a little wild and frisky.

Then she meets David (Mark Wahlberg), an older boy. Just a little bit bad, a little bit nasty. Just what a shy, young, virginal thing like Nicole needs. Hardly.

David makes a great first impression. He is attentive, loving, treats the parents and stepbrother like royalty. He gets Nicole flowers, calls her on the phone, brings her home on time. In fact, the perfect boyfriend …….. except ……

Daddy doesn’t care for him.

What results is every parents nightmare, a bad boy gone even worse, chasing your sweet virginal daughter and turning her against you.

In the end you find no fortress is impenetrable, even the heart.

Suspenseful? You bet. There are plenty of times where you edge out on the seat but for the most part the movie moves slowly until the climatic ending. Predictable? You bet, but you don’t really care. You will, however, learn a new respect for roller coasters – grin.

There is great music throughout the movie: Wild Horses by The Sundays; Animal by Prick; Comedown & MachineHead by Bush; Something’s Always Wrong” by Toad The Wet Sprocket; Green Mind by Dink; The Illist by Marky Mark and Irie Vibe by One Love.

Fear won Best Villian (Mark Wahlberg) and Best Movie Song (Bush for MachineHead) from MTV. It was directed by James Foley and written by Christopher Crowe.

Alyssa Milano plays her part of bad girl OK, but for someone that tries so hard to be nasty, she gets pretty whiny toward the end. Witherspoon, however, practically had honey dripping off of her (damn, that image alone would be worth ….. oops, got sidetracked), even when she is angry she is sweet. Petersen played the dad role like he was reading an manual or something. Kind of wooden and a whole lot dense.

However, Wahlberg was just about as nasty as you can get. You just knew from the beginning that every time he opened his mouth nothing but a load of manure was falling out. Hey, I’ve met guys like that. The eyes don’t lie though and his were telling a completely different story.

So grab up a little Fear and listen to some good music, watch a family come to terms with their relationship and form a new one, and the best yet, learn to really ride the roller coaster.



Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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Quick Tip by . June 20, 2011
In this wildly contrived feature, Marky Mark plays a petulant, psychotic, pockmarked, mush-mouthed thug who devotes his awful grammar and violent conniption fits to Reese Witherspoon, still marginally cute prior to the incredible expansion of of her skull's Y-axis. As usual, Alyssa Milano is a big whore in her supporting role. It doesn't really make any sense, but it's just BEGGING to be riffed.
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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


A pretty teenager meets and falls in love with a charming, mysterious young man at an all-night rave party in Seattle. When she stops seeing him after discovering he's cheating on her with her best friend, he snaps, vowing vengeance against her and her family. A tense thriller.
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Director: James Foley
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Release Date: 12 April 1996 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Christopher Crowe
Runtime: 97 min
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"Obsession mortelle"
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