How has this movie not been rebooted yet? It's been nearly two decades since this was released. There has to have been a new generation of studio executives that want to produce a cautionary tale for their daughters about how their boyfriends might seem nice, but secretly they are murderous a-holes. That's the sort of timeless message that never goes out of style.

In case you don't remember Fear, it's about a young virgin (played by Reese Witherspoon) who develops a crush on a hot boy (played by Mark Wahlberg), and at first he's super nice, helping the family plant some trees in their backyard and talking with the mom about soil quality. (For reals. Apparently he worked in a nursery when he wasn't "breaking down all the doors" in the boys home where he lived. Such is the duality of man.)

Slowly his dark side emerges: he gets jealous when he sees her with a male friend and he accidentally hits her in the scuffle. Also, it's revealed that he totally smokes reefer with his crime buddies. Despite this, she still lets him have sex with her, so it's only a matter of time before he's organizing a home invasion on her family's house and shoving the severed head of their dog through the doggy door. Truly, this film is a parent's dream: sucker the kids into the theater by promising them a cool Bush-heavy soundtrack and scenes of sexy teens getting fingered on a rollercoaster, but then, whammy! A hysterical message about how dating anyone ever is going to lead to premature violent death, so shut it the fuck down, ladies.


Don't get me wrong: I'm not suggesting that this movie needs to get rebooted because it's bad. In fact, it's perfect for what it is. Witherspoon is ideal for the role: she has the sweetness that her underwritten part desperately needs, and she manages to walk the line of good-girl-flirting-with-going-bad in a way that remains on the right side of ridiculous even after the plot goes over the ledge. Wahlberg is also perfectly cast, not just because he can play both the sweetheart and the beast equally well, but because he can keep them completely separate, keeping the menace entirely out of his early performance where it doesn't belong. And the script is also pretty good, as these things go, because it commits to it's hyperbolic tone instead of half-assing it. This bad boyfriend isn't just going to be jealous of his girlfriend's male friends - he's going to hunt them down in the woods and break their necks, like a deranged predator who hunts only for sport.

This needs to be rebooted not because it seems dated now, or because it wasn't done right the first time. No, it should be rebooted because young women are always going to need a reminder that young men are basically werewolves with less hair. I don't know who you would cast in a new version - I can't think of any young actors who could nail it quite as deftly as Wahlberg and Witherspoon do. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't try. If we don't get a film where Miley Cyrus and, I dunno, whoever played the werewolf in Twilight fake getting busy on a rollercoaster before the homicides start piling up we might never get rid of the scourge of sexting. Come on, Hollywood, we're counting on you.

Winner: Me

Fear on IMDB