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Afternoon Quickie: Ally Sheedy in 1990’s FEAR

“Your First Impulse Your Last Sensation”

Not to be confused with FEAR starring Mark Wahlberg (another good thriller), FEAR starring Ally Sheedy is a rather forgotten 1990 release from director Rockne S. O’Bannon, best known for his work on killer genre TV programming like THE TWILIGHT ZONE (80s reincarnation), ALIEN NATION, and FARSCAPE. Many horror fans only know FEAR because it is the second half of a DVD double bill with the popular 80s horror comedy PARENTS. That is in fact how I stumbled on this hidden gem- I picked up my PARENTS DVD one day, and said “Hey, I’ve never seen this”.

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

Cayce (Sheedy) is a psychic who has been helping the police solve violent crimes for several years. When her psychic powers connect her to a serial killer, a fellow clairvoyant who goes by the name Shadow Man, Cayce reluctantly gets caught up in his deadly game. She is able to psychically connect with the killer, often watching through his eyes as he kills. But- he knows she is watching, and he is looking for her!

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Just two years after SHORT CIRCUIT 2, Ally Sheedy was still a name star, so the producers had planned a full theatrical run for this title. Something happened along the way, however, and FEAR ended up getting a direct to Showtime release in July of 1990. It did a limited VHS distribution, but beyond that the only public exposure is that lone DVD double bill courtesy of Lionsgate.

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In addition to a tense, tightly-woven plot, FEAR features a wonderful soundtrack courtesy of Henry Mancini. FEAR also stars one of the masters of creepy, the extremely talented Pruitt Taylor Vince who would later appear in genre films like THE CELL and IDENTITY.

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How to See It: FEAR never made it past the combo DVD release with PARENTS, and to the best of my hunting ability, the film is not available for streaming on any major VOD platforms. But a used copy of the DVD costs only $5 on Amazon, which is well worth it for these two top-notch flicks!

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