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The Fury

review by Ren C.


Rated R

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Running Time: 120 minutes

Starring Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Amy Irving

Written by John Farris
Based on his novel "Music"

Directed by Brian DePalma

Retail Price: $19.98

Features: Photo Gallery, Theatrical Trailers

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 4.0, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Digital Mono, English Closed Captions, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Chapter Search (20 Chapters)

Released: September 4th, 2001

"The Fury" is an anomaly amongst horror movies. It doesn't take the easy way out by using the slasher plot, the haunted house plot, or any of the other common plots so indigent to horror movies. This movie actually manages to generate a plot all its own, and in doing so, distinguish itself from the rest of the pack. However, the plot is so distinct that it finds itself almost fracturing into two different movies at times.

The movie revolves around Peter (Kirk Douglas), who is a government agent for some indiscriminate agency who had relocated to the Middle East with his son Robin (Andrew Stevens) after Robin's mother had died at childbirth. Robin has apparently developed psychokinetic powers, and Peter has decided to relocate to Chicago with him in order to help him harness these powers at a special institute. However, before this can happen, Peter is attacked by a group of what can best be described as "bad guys" led by Childress (John Cassavetes), who has been in the agency with Peter for twenty years. Childress kidnaps Robin and leaves Peter for dead, but Peter manages to grab a gun from one of the terrorists and shoot Childress in the arm, leaving him without use of it.

Robin is spirited off by the terrorists, and Peter finds that his only hope of getting him back is by finding someone else with psychokinetic powers in the hope that they can get in contact with Robin. This girl's powers are slowly starting to manifest themselves, with some particularly nasty side effects, including making people bleed when she comes in contact with them.

She is taken to the same research center where Robin was, but unbeknownst to her or her parents, the research center is actually a sort of breeding ground for individuals with these powers to be used as weapons by Childress' group. However, Peter has someone inside the institute who knows what is going on and with her help, he aims to get in contact with the girl and find Robin before it is too late.

Like I stated earlier, this is a very complex and intricate plot. However, the scenes with Peter and the scenes with the girl, Gillian (Amy Irving) seem to be part of two different movies at times. Having said that, this is certainly a very suspenseful movie and one that doesn't give the viewer much time to become bored. Brian DePalma's style is certainly evident here as Gillian's experiences in many scenes can be directly paralleled with some of those in the movie "Carrie", which of course DePalma also directed. The movie also has some fairly impressive special effects for 1978 and all in all is a very interesting and engaging horror movie.

For a movie that is over twenty years old, this transfer is actually fairly good, especially when contrasting it with the opening 20th Century Fox logo that is almost covered in grain. Throughout the movie, there is very little noticeable grain or scratches. However, artifacts are evident in several places, as is the occasional shimmering effect of colors. The colors, in many places also look washed out and faded, although for a twenty year old movie this in some ways is expected. Not a reference quality transfer by any stretch of the imagination but also not a horrible one.

The 4.0 Dolby mix here is definitely not that breathtaking, as I noticed dialogue dropping in and out throughout the movie. In addition, the ambient sounds seemed to have a mind of their own, sometimes being so low as to be subliminal, and other times being almost overwhelming. The one major highlight of this mix is the fact that John Williams' score can be heard throughout the movie. Also included are a Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround track and a French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track, along with English and Spanish subtitles and English closed captions.

This is a Fox bargain title, and as such any features are greatly appreciated. The nicest feature on this disc is the photo gallery, which supplies posters and lobby cards from around the world, along with some shots taken on the set. The theatrical trailer from the movie is here, along with random trailers for the 1986 and 1958 versions of "The Fly", "Alien", "Lake Placid" and "The Omen".

This is without question a very different movie. It is unlike anything I had ever seen before and certainly deserves a watch. It is one of Fox's budget titles, and as such, the price is very reasonable, although the features are fairly nonexistent and the video and audio aren't particularly notable. I definitely recommend a rental first.

(3/5 - NOT included in final score)




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