Because experience has taught me that nothing follows up The Crush like Fear.
Fear and The Crush are my two all-time, top two, guilty pleasure delights. The difference? Only one really makes me feel all that guilty. And it ain’t this one.
I genuinely love this movie. Not in a “God, The Room is awesome” kind of love. Like, “This is how girls who wear t-shirts to the pool and 45-year-old ladies with 10 cats and hoarding disorder feel about Twilight.” Love. Pure and simple, unconditional. Love.
James Foley, the director of Glengarry Glen Ross, no doubt inspired after working with Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin and Alan Arkin, said, “I want to work with that guy who posed in his tighty-whiteys and rapped of vibrations, good like Sunkist.” And the magic was born.
Feel it, feel it.
Fear is the tale of Reese Witherspoon, a spoiled brat who wears very short skirts. Despite constantly showing her thighs and midsection, we are lead to believe that she is the good girl to her best friend Margot’s (Alyssa Milano) giant whoreface. You can tell she’s a whoreface because she asks for chocolate cake like she wants it. Aw yeah.
They are also friends with Gary. Gary is the biggest wimp ever. Fuck Gary.
Her dad is William Peterson. At one point in the film, he whips off his sunglasses when shit goes down. David Caruso later stole this and had a career with it on Peterson’s spinoff.
Because Reese is a spoiled child of divorce, she is angsty and longs for excitement. So she, Margot and Gary sneak out of school one day and get coffee. EXCITEMENT! While java-ing, she spies the incredible pile of muscle and beauty and Boston that is Mark Wahlberg. She tingles twixt her nethers. Alyssa Milano spies his friend who looks like a fat Slash. She burns and itches twixt her nethers, but that’s probably been going on for a while, what with the aforementioned whorefacing.
When her dad bails on a James Taylor concert, Reese storms out of her house ready to be a rebel (missing out on “Fire and Rain” will do that to a 16-year-old) and she and Margot head off to experience Seattle’s mid-’90s rave scene. There’s lights, flannel, dude-on-dude action, untz-untz music and she is stoked to finally feel alive. And as if things couldn’t get better, though it is a rave of at least 300 people, she runs into Marky Mark. Well, he mysteriously appears from behind a pole, but it’s fine. She wows him with her stunning conversational skills (“So … why aren’t you dancing?”) and then a fight breaks out or grunge dies or something angsty, I’m not sure, but they all have to bounce because the police helicopters are coming.
He whisks her away from danger in his Corvair and when she tells him she should get home, he turns her watch back.
It’s a cute moment, but when he does it again later in her dad’s office, you kind of start to realize that maybe he really thinks that’s how time works.
After that, they have a montage of tenderness. Playing pool, making out, rollercoaster fingerblasting, the usual. We get hints that Marky Mark may not be all he’s cracked up to be – bossing her around, getting a little friendly with her stepmom, implied shady dealings with his friends – but dammit if he doesn’t get that job done in record speed. He’s at it, what, 10 seconds? Then the virginal teenager’s all “wiiiiiild hoooorses” on the Screamin’ Eagle and we know he is IN and, hell, we’d let him in, too.
After that, things get dark. He picks her up at school and sees Gary – pussed out little Gary – and beats the shit out of him, elbowing her in the face in the process. She cries tears that would make any one of us think, “Wow, she has an Oscar?” and decides it’s over.
Until her dad forbids her from seeing him again when he finds the condom. Then it’s all back together cuddle time and amusement park diddle jobs.
Then, shit gets the realest.
He starts threatening William Peterson. He destroys his awesome vintage car, he punches himself in the chest a bunch, then he fucking rapes a cracked-out Alyssa Milano.
Reese Witherspoon, being the sensible girl she is, witnesses this and blames her best friend. Naturally.
After that, Marky Mark threatens Margot, stalks Reese and straight up murders Gary (dude, Gary had it coming). Then …
Then he beheads the family dog, pushes its head through the doggie door and forever traumatizes Reese’s little brother.
No, seriously, it’s rough.
He and his pals proceed to terrorize the family, kill a security guard, tie up stepmom Amy Brenneman, totally ruining her bouncy curls and generally fuck shit up old school. There’s a lot of tension and he almost shoots William Peterson and then Reese stabs him in the back with a peace pipe and out the window he goes, boom CRACK against the pavement.
Goddamn I love that movie.
With the exception of an over-the-top slutty character in Margot, three incredibly random and out-of-place zoom-in close-ups and Gary as a whole, there is not a single thing wrong with this movie. Mark Wahlberg is awesomely creepy, the tension is fierce and the soundtrack is amazing. Mostly because they play “Something’s Always Wrong” by Toad the Wet Sprocket no less than twice, and that’s one of my favorite songs of all time. Fear rivals The Craft (ohhh look for it next time) as my favorite ’90s-flick-soundtrack of all time.
If you’ve never seen it, rent it. If you have seen it, watch it again. Love like I love. Fear is worth it. Five out of five Twinkies.
Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.