In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Friday, February 23, 2024


Today's VHS is another Vestron title, this one from 1990, called simply, Fear. No, not the one where Marky Mark fingers Reese Witherspoon, or the one with the tree dude, but one I do recall from my video store days. I never partook, likely because it looked like a slew of other titles that were released around this time, but more on that later...

Psychic Cayce (Ally Sheedy) uses her powers to help track down violent criminals, but things get dangerous when she crosses paths with a serial killer with the same gifts.

Like last week's title Hider in the House, this movie was also a casualty of Vestron's bankruptcy in the late eighties. Denied a theatrical release, it found a home on Showtime and was then unceremoniously dumped on video two years later when distributors were filling shelves with anything that remotely resembled The Silence of the Lambs.

Having said that though, this was a fun one. There have been tons of movies where characters see through a killer's eyes, but I can't recall one exactly like this, where they are communicating, even taunting, the person receiving the visions. Fear is not just a title, but refers to the killer getting off on the fear of his victims, and also Cayce's as she witnesses his misdeeds. Director Rockne S. O' Bannon's (no relation to Dan) confident filmmaking is helped along by a Henry Mancini score that really slaps.

Sheedy had to do all of the heavy lifting here and performs admirably, even through the more ridiculous situations she is put in and her almost Final Girl-like shift from victim to aggressor during the carnival set piece felt organic and bad-ass. And I admit I let out a little cheer when the killer, who'd been previously only referred to as Shadow Man, was revealed to be the King of all shifty-eyed psychos, Pruitt Taylor Vince!

I found Cayce's eagerness to be out in the public eye, writing books about the killers she'd collared, a little bold. Like, wouldn't having a crime crystal ball make you a target? And the rules of her powers were a little muddy and seemed to extend beyond her explanation of them at the hop, but hey! It's a 90s movie-of-the-week, who am I to judge? 

I should look further into the demise of Vestron because, at least from my small sample size, it appears they were still cranking out entertaining product at the end. Maybe they threw all their money in a Superman IV-sized hole like Cannon did? Quick everyone, to the 'Pedia!

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