guest reviewer: Sonya
The tagline for The Fear is “He’s Whatever Scares You The Most”. What scares me the most is this movie! Really!
This movie could have possibilities. The main character, Richard, is a psychology student who wants to help people overcome their irrational fears. His solution is to take a random group of people out to a cabin in the woods for a weekend retreat to face their fears. On the surface, I could go along with Richard’s approach. It is the details that make me wonder if anyone one involved in this movie ever even took Psychology 101. Richard’s psychology advisor, played by Wes Craven, the horror film director extraordinaire, has a picture of Albert Einstein on his wall. According to Mike O. “Yeah, Einstein, that famous psychologist!” Then Wes encourages Richard to take random strangers into the woods by himself. What, no observer? Don’t psychiatry students need to be supervised when interviewing patients?
Richard’s first move in the group interview is to push everyone to tell a complete group of strangers what they fear. Richard is not the comforting, encouraging type I would want for any therapist of mine! His method to extract painful memories is to whine “Come on, tell us what you fear!” So, we have a group of people with typical fears—getting old, drowning, being poor, having their religious father beat the crap out of them, and that someone would find out that you had killed your nephew’s mother because you were sleeping with her. Typical fears, right? And anyone can be invited into this little group—Richard’s friend, the snackin’ dude, Richard’s uncle and his scantily clad girlfriend, and Richard’s sometime fiancée. Makes you wonder if Richard has any normal friends!
Oh, yeah, getting back to “The Fear” feeder and the horror part of this movie. In this cabin in the woods, in a huge drawer that could fit an entire person, is hidden away a wooden man that Richard’s grandfather used years ago in front of his dry goods store. This wooden man carved by a Native American has the typically Native American name of “Morty”. Morty, for some reason, bears an extremely strong resemblance to Robin Williams. Morty also has the wonderful ability to show up in random places for the next 20 minutes of the movie—outside windows where couples are making out and in hot tubs among other strange places.
Then the fear facers leave their cabin in the woods to go to a Santa’s Village amusement park at night. I mean, wouldn’t you go to an amusement park at night if you were afraid of the dark or heights? What better way would there be to solve your fears on a psychology retreat? Morty is no where to be seen, but one of our fearless, oops, fearful participants meets a bloody end. It is quite telling, the one afraid of religion is sort of crucified. I say “sort of” because he is actually just speared to the wall, not nailed to a cross.
The survivors now rush back to the cabin and are finally killed one by one by Morty. We even get a nice flash back of Richard as a young child witnessing his mother’s death and having Morty chase him through the woods. Apparently Morty was Richard’s friend, but now Morty is Richard’s enemy. And to think, this idea was deemed good enough to warrant a sequel! What I fear is more Morty!