I had spent most of the 1990s between Seattle and South Dakota. Not shy to report that I was a teen when grunge really kicked off, and grunge Was The Best Thing To Ever Happen to a feisty teen girl traveling between parents and exact opposite places.
I was also outstandingly naive. In 1996 I was 17, an absolute idiot, and loved the world. Let me introduce you to a film that I feared:
I saw this when it first came out and I hadn't seen it since, until now. It's taken 25 years to be all, deep breath "Right then. Let's try this one again." More interestingly, I had no memory of the actual story - just that it fucked me up something fierce. I even had No Memory the story took place in Seattle.
Watching the opening scenes, I tilted my head and was - wait, wait a minute - but it was when I saw the Kingdome that I think I laughed right out loud, remembered when the Kingdome was taken down, and shuddered.
I was living in downtown Seattle when the Kingdome was demolished. I watched it explode from my workplace - 40th floor of a skyscraper. Once it had been taken down I thought to myself, sadly, "Okay" and went to the elevators to head home.
As soon as I walked out of the building I saw this WALL of smoke and debris rolling up the street like something out of a nightmare, coming right for me. In fear, I began to run for my life. I did not make it. The remains of the Kingdome consumed me and I had to take a long shower after I finally got home. I wouldn't be surprised if some part of that place is still, literally, inside me.
But I digress.
Wait, not really - because I think it's my connection to Seattle AND the fact that the soundtrack is my music collection AND that I really resonated with the young woman in so many ways, as to why this movie frightened me so much. This had more than a passing familiarity and that made it far more terrifying.
Bonus: Mark Wahlberg is SCARY beyond belief here. He also looks too damn good [looking] for his own good. ALSO REALLY SCARY.
Fear follows a teen who, with her friend, run into some "bad boys" and sparks fly between them all. Sparks may fly out of defiance or an honest to goodness blind view of the world, or, more likely as the movie suggests, a distorted view of what love really means.
It should come as no surprise that things get horribly out of hand as soon as the honeymoon phase of romance has ended and interventions to escape a situation have been initiated.
It gets ugly, really ugly as it usually, sadly does.
This film has a full on Lifetime Movie flavor but I was honestly surprised by the subtilty of the reflections between father/daughter/best friend/romance/blended family/trying to grow and be independent.
This film was reading my diary and I DID NOT LIKE IT!
Again, quite possibly the reason why this film had such an effect on me then and now. I also saw some reviews dismiss this film as delightful trash, and while I won't completely disagree with that, I also feel a bit defensive on it's behalf because it is a legit sharp thriller that hones on a very, very, very deadly reality for too many women.
While the list is incredibly small, I have been afraid for my life from enough people enough times to know this film identified a nerve. And it had hit that nerve yet again when I rewatched this film. A nerve I was able to identify even my youthful idiocy and still in my 40s-don't-give-a-shit-fight-me stages. It's a horror film in the reminder that love makes it very difficult to understand the signs of an incredibly dangerous person and their red flags.
I'll start my mornings happily watching Hellraiser but it's stuff like this that give me the real nightmares.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, this is a national U.S. resource that can provide guidance and support.
Pairs with backup, a packed bag, and security systems. Best watched when ready.
I watched this film on HBO or use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this frightening film.