The Fear (1995)

DVD Cover (Allumination)
Genres: Creature Film, Horror, Psychological Thriller
A weekend group goes to a remote cabin for "fear therapy". While each person is working to conquer their worst fears, they all become terrorized by a living monster made of wood which stalks each of them in turn. --IMDb
Vincent Robert Vincent Robert
Eddie Bowz Eddie Bowz
Heather Medway Heather Medway
Ann Turkel Ann Turkel
Vince Edwards Vince Edwards
Darin Heames Darin Heames
Movie Connections:
The Fear
> The Fear (1995)
> The Fear: Resurrection (1999)

3.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: January 24, 2008
You know, I think that the whole "worst movie ever made" line is extremely overused; after all, who out there has the required credentials of having seen every movie ever made in order to make that statement? I know that I haven't, and while I'm sure that there are worse movies floating around out there, I have to say that The Fear certainly ranks up there with the worst of the worst. Yes, it's that bad, and the fact that it not only found a distributor but also spawned a sequel simply astounds me.

The back of the DVD case promises us a frightening night out at a remote cabin in which a wooden dummy uses the worst fears of a group of college kids against them, but what we get is something along the lines of one of those slasher flicks from the eighties; the only difference between The Fear and said slasher flicks is that here, we don't get the gratuitous nudity, the buckets of blood, the massive body count, or even the profanity (since it's all censored out - more on that later). Slasher films aren't known for much else, so it should go without saying that stripping out all of those elements would leave you with a painful ninety minutes in front of the tube... and that's exactly what it was. Throw in a cameo by Wes Craven (how the filmmakers managed to con him into appearing is beyond me) and tack on one of the lamest endings that I've ever had the "privilege" of sitting through, and you've got yourself a movie.

In its defense, The Fear had potential based on the concept alone. Granted, the idea of having what was basically a mannequin terrorizing these kids was a bit laughable, but when one considers that a little doll known as Chucky spawned almost half a dozen sequels over the years, the idea of having a villain carved out of a tree gets a little less absurd. Plus, films that feature villains preying on people's fears usually turn out to be pretty neat since we in the audience can identify with them more. Can you identify with a big-busted woman getting stabbed with a butcher knife? Probably not, but you can certainly feel the character's pain when their fear of water, heights, or insects suddenly becomes exploited since most of us can identify with at least one of those fears. So, why didn't the film work?

Let's see... for starters, the whole aspect of a villain preying on your fears was basically thrown out the window. Sure, the fear thing does get all of these kids out into the woods to begin with since they're participating in a psychology workshop, and one person has her fear of turning old come true after she's already dead, but other than that, it's not used at all. However, this may have been a blessing in disguise as these fears weren't handled properly at all, and it almost felt like more of a parody than an actual horror movie. Take, for example, the woman who has a fear of water. Nothing wrong with a little hydrophobia, and - ahem - I even know someone who suffers from it, but being scared of a goddamned hot tub is pushing it. The really scary question is, if she's that scared of water, how in the hell does she bathe herself? Then we had the guy with a fear of insects coming unglued over a cricket on his back, a scene which isn't quite as unbelievable as the hot tub thing, but it definitely came close. It also didn't help that he was a white guy who was - how to be politically correct - "racially confused", if you catch my drift.

Oh, and don't think that I'm going to let our good friend Morty the mannequin off the hook in this review. Sure, I said that picking on the concept of a mannequin killer is hard to do when a stuffed doll did so well in the world of horror, and had it been done right, I would have stood by that statement. However, when you've got a man stuffed inside a suit that is supposed to look like wood and are repeatedly forced to watch him do dance moves from the eighties (seriously, the fucker does the robot at least twice), any sort of fear that the audience may have had goes straight out the window. Oh, and that ending that I loathed so much? The leading man walks up to the mannequin and says "I'm not afraid of you anymore, so you have to leave." No shit, that's the ending. Could you imagine trying to pull that garbage on, say, Freddy Krueger?

As if all of that wasn't bad enough, all of the American DVD releases of this film are censored. Want to see Monique Mannen's boobs? Sorry, that scene was cut out. Want to see some bloody deaths? Sorry, but feel free to look around on the cutting room floor. How about some dirty words? Instead of being dubbed or bleeped out, we simply cut ahead in the film to avoid even the implication of vulgarity. According to IMDb, there were a total of ten minutes cut out of this film for the DVD release, and trust me when I say that it shows. The storyline is a mess and things happen with seemingly no rhyme or reason thanks to the cuts, and to be honest, there were pieces that I still don't understand.

I haven't even mentioned the horrible acting (calling it "wooden" would be too easy), the lack of proper lighting in ninety percent of the running time, or the soundtrack which consists of nothing but rap music (I have no problems with rap, but it never mixes well with horror - never). There's a hundred other flaws that I could point out about the abomination known as The Fear, but do I really need to at this point? It may not be the worst movie ever made, but it's damned sure in the top twenty. 0/10.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 01/24/2008, 10:03 AM
I remember seeing this when it first hit video shelves and not being very impressed at all. That covers just looks hysterical. Since "Magic", all movies involving wooden dummies are just lame in comparison. 3/10.
Edd #2: Edd - added 01/24/2008, 11:12 AM
I rented this purely based on the cover. 1/10 for the wooden dude being named Morty
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