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Fear Review

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Cayce Bridges helps the police with their investigations by using her strange psychic ability to get inside the minds of serial killers. But when one returns the favour, the stakes become suddenly higher…

★★★★★

Psychic Cayce Bridges (Sheedy) specialises in helping the police track down serial killers, getting in touch with the minds of the murderers, and using her visions to guide the cops to the culprits. But the latest slasher she has latched onto is a different animal, a psychic himself who is aware of her mental eavesdropping and enjoys tormenting her by feeding off her fear as he forces her to share his ghastly crimes.

From this interesting premise - which is half-borrowed from The Eyes of Laura Mars - Fear unfortunately spins out an increasingly unlikely, uninvolving and frustrating story of everyday mind-reading folk. Sheedy is fine, and does especially well by an edgy introductory sequence as she zeroes in on a killer who is about to go into action, but the film slowly ditches all the interesting aspects of her character and turns her into a regulation feisty heroine, ready to take on the most vicious madman with only a heavy-duty torch and a weedy fireman boyfriend to protect her.

O'Bannon, hitherto an interesting writer who turned out a couple of Twilight Zone episodes and wrote Alien Nation, makes an undistinguished directorial debut, making all the obvious choices in filming his own potentially intriguing but ultimately feeble screenplay. And the baseball cap-wearing psychic villain, far from being the monster menace he is set up turns out to be a blubbery wimp who is all too easily bested in the limp finale.

Made for American cable television, this is fairly mild as a horror film, and highly predictable as a thriller, pulling a few too many obvious rabbits out of the hat, and winding up with a fairground climax that pastes together bits of Lady From Shanghai and Strangers On A Train to no particular effect.

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