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Liveblogging the '90s: Real-Time Review of 'Fear'

By Courtney Enlow | Liveblogging the 90s | May 23, 2014 |

By Courtney Enlow | Liveblogging the 90s | May 23, 2014 |

Previously on Liveblogging the ’90s: Intrigue! Scandal! High-waisted denim! EEEEEEEDRIENNE!

This time on Liveblogging the ’90s: Intrigue! Scandal! High-waisted denim! MISTAH WALKAH!

I love this movie. I love this movie so much. And kind of sort of not in the way I love The Crush. I know that’s no good. I don’t know that I know this is no good. It is a gift, a cinematic dollop from the heavens above, placed on a dish of gold and served with a spoon made of angel breath. Also, rollercoaster digit blasterz. Wiiiiiiiiild hoooorses.

00:00:26 - Right off the bat, I need to share with you one tiddly bit that I want you to keep in mind as you watch this film. This film was directed by James Foley, who also directed Glengarry Glen Ross. ROLLERCOASTERS ARE FOR CLOSERS.

00:00:46 - Like The Crush, Fear also takes place in Seattle. It’s possible everything took place in Seattle between the years 1991 to 1996. You don’t need to look it up. Just accept it as fact.

00:01:33 - This film stars Reese Witherspoon when she was basically a fetus, long before she was America’s sweetheart/Laura Jeanne Poon, harasser of cops. The first shot of her is a shower scene, and she’s got her eyes closed and she’s got her eyes closed with a smile on her face, like a simple thing. Who showers like that unless you are straight up falling asleep? Women in movies shower like dumb robots who’ve been put on pause.

00:01:41 - The third lead of this movie is William Peterson who plays Nicole’s (Witherspoon) dad, aka, Mr. Walker, aka, MISTAH WALKAH. The first shot of him is running so we know he is the kind of intense dad who might be able to take down a Mark Wahlberg if he ever needed and who also has a dog. Please, don’t get too attached to the dog (spoiler alert: even the dog won’t be attached to the dog for long).

00:03:08 - Nicole has ANGST because her dad doesn’t like her tiny babydoll dress that she’s wearing with frilly white socks and black Mary Janes because ’90s.


Dead eyes of angsty angstness.

00:03:33 - Little stepbrother has a whistle to call the dog. He loves the dog. The dog is a good boy. Poor stupid kid.


But I’m getting a(be)head of myself.

00:03:14 - Mistah Walkah works in an office with a man dressed exactly like him. Costume director must have gone on a bagel run.


00:04:50 - Nicole’s two best friends are Boring Gary with Stamos Hair and Slutty Margo (Alyssa Milano) who is in this coffee shop for 12 seconds before proceeding to eyefuck the grodiest skeever in the joint while ordering chocolate cake like she works for a phone sex hotline because it’s important we know that Margo is the Slut. He has a phenomenally hot friend in a tight black top (Mark fucking Wahlberg) who takes one look at Nicole, gives his pool cue a kind-of hand job and is in immediate love.

00:07:09 - Nicole and Slutty Margo are laying out by the pool reading a magazine with nude women in it talking about posing nude and Margo would totally do it because she wants to be wanted by men because it’s important we know that Margo is the Slut. Nicole wouldn’t do such a thing because she is Not the Slut.

00:08:01 - Margo’s mom is leaving to go be with an old rich man because it’s important we know Margo’s mom is also a Slut.

00:08:32 - Nicole and her dad are in the car talking about childhood. Her mom is Gone. She is Angsty. Dad Blocks Out the Past. This Conversation Is Expository. They are planning to go see James Taylor and everything will be OK.

00:10:12 - Dad has to work and cannot go see James Taylor. Things are not OK. Nicole angstily calls Slutty Margo so they can go to a rave because now Nicole is Rebellious. Mistah Walkah punches a cabinet. This is an overreaction probably.

00:11:32 - The rave is so ravey. People are wearing big hats and rainbow vests and boys are kissing each other, so you know it’s a baller ass party.

00:11:51 - Slutty Margo’s Grody Skeever is there dancing like a dad and Margo goes up and grinds on him because Slut. Nicole looks bashful and nervous because Not Slut. A WILD MARK WAHLBERG APPEARS!


“Say hi to your stepmothah for me.”

00:12:42 - Nicole says “how come you’re not dancing?” which is her “I carried a watermelon.” They do not dance. Margo is all over Skeeve’s crotch because, never forget, they are The Slut and Not the Slut, the dynamic crimefighting duo.

00:13:55 - Rave immediately gets busted because that’s what raves do.

00:14:38 - A helicopter comes to shut down the rave, which seems like it was really easy to find because they were handing out flyers for this party, it’s not like it was secret.

00:15:20 - David (that’s Wahlberg) drives her to a pretty place in a dangerous car that might explode. “It’s not her fault that they didn’t put her together right,” says the man about a splodey car.

00:16:08 - Nicole tells David about her daddy issues. David asks her more questions about her daddy issues. He stares at her with the melty butter eyes. He tells her about his parents and their perfect marriage and, spoiler, LIES-A MINNELLI! LIES!

00:18:19 - “If something seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t,” David says before setting her watch back and trying to grab her boob, which she rebuffs and apologizes for, calling it her “flaw.” Not the Slut is Sorry for not being The Slut.

00:19:29 - Nicole comes home after curfew. Stepmom Amy Brenneman is mad and tells her she looks like a slut. AMY BRENNEMAN. Didn’t you read the script? Nicole is Not the Slut!

00:20:18 - Being Not the Slut must be why now Nicole is dressed like one of The Outsiders.


00:20:22 - By the by, they keep showing Mistah Walkah driving or running through the security gate every chance they get. I guess they thought they really needed to let the audience know that there was, in fact, a security guard because otherwise the end would be totally confusing (*shakes head no*).

00:21:55 - And we have our first appearance of “Come Down” by Bush. This song and “Something’s Always Wrong” by Toad the Wet Sprocket, aka, one of my favorite songs of all time (SHUT YOUR TRAP, TK) play in this movie pretty much on a loop, which is why it’s the best soundtrack ever.

00:22:55 - Nicole and David are making out everywhere. Hands are moving to places. He wants to meet her family. Mistah Walkah meets David and literally does a spit take, just like the rest of us do when we see Mark Wahlberg. Little stepbrother is there again with the dog, petting him and loving him and calling him GeorgeKaiser because little stepbrother and dog will be friends forever and have a nice long life together.

00:24:24 - David cozies up to Mrs. Walkah by talking plants. Chicks dig a man who can talk bush.

00:25:04 - Slutty Margo bends over in front of Mistah Walkah. The movie is literally insistent upon alerting us, in case there was any question to the contrary, that Margo is The Slut. Also, David tells Nicole to get him a Coke. Mistah Walkah is fucking CONCERNED.

00:26:22 - Mistah Walkah tells David Nicole’s curfew is at midnight. David turns Mistah Walkah’s clock back. He has one move.

00:26:54 - Nicole didn’t take the trash out. This leads to marital strife for the Walkahs, obviously.


I’ve never ridden the rollercoaster while riding on a rollercoaster, but there is NO WAY virginal Nicole came that quickly unless David’s hand is a Sharper Image attachment. I hope they clean the seats.

00:30:24 - Margo’s skeeve boyfriend points at Nicole. It’s off-putting.

00:31:17 - Nicole calls David over to bang like bongos. Right now David and his friends have to do something, but then he’ll come by. Nicole is all “here’s the security code to my house that I’m sure will not be an issue later in the movie.” I don’t know what David’s doing in the meantime. I think he’s a drug dealer. It’s not super clear in the movie until later when a guy comes over and his friend barks. I don’t know. I don’t know.

00:32:43 - What I do know is that it’s time for a bang-bang-bangity-bang I said a-bang-bang-a-bangity-bang. First he will rifle through drawers though because priorities. Then his clothes fall off because naked magic. Then he will give Nicole another six-second orgasm because sex magic. I choose to believe that’s just how Wahlberg works.

00:35:06 - Nicole is telling Boring Gary about the banging. David sees Nicole hug Boring Gary. He flips his shit and punches Gary in the skull and kicks him a bunch. Nicole screams a lot. Reese Witherspoon has not yet mastered screen crying.

00:36:14 - Nicole showers while day dreaming. This time she is not smiling. She captured a bruise while David beat up Gary. Mrs. Walkah uses it as a way to bond, then sexily tells Mistah Walkah that she made Nicole not look like a slut. This movie is filled with Healthy Relationships and Interactions.

00:37:44 - David follows Nicole into school because this was back when you could still do that. He puts a note in her locker. He has beautiful handwriting.


00:38:16 - David’s friend barks at a guy. I don’t know. I think drugs? I don’t know. I don’t know. David is laying in bed, mid-jack, very sad. There are lots of pictures of Nicole, a giant crucifix and his own mugshot. His decorating skills are lacking because Pinterest hasn’t been invented yet.

00:40:03 - David sends Nicole flowers. Nicole throws them away. She is right to do this. Don’t worry, she’ll change her mind. The movie’s only half over.

00:40:46 - Mistah and Mrs. Walkah hear Nicole crying in bed and she tells them what happened and Mistah Walkah is all OH HELL NO and finds a condom wrapper on the floor. Then he makes it all about him like a chodefarm. Nicole goes from right to Rebellious and fishes the flowers out of the trash. Nice work, DAD.

00:44:13 - “So he hit you. Sometimes that’s just their asshole way of showing how much they love you.” Margo, you need so many therapies and hugs. I’ll hug you. It’s OK.

00:45:06 - Sorry, “Something’s Always Wrong” started playing and I stopped typing because I was transported to a closed-eyes head-bobbing place of emotion you’ll never understand, you Philistines. David started apologizing to Nicole and promising he’ll never do it again so she takes him back and takes him to her house for a happy family pool party. Mistah Walkah is not pleased.


00:47:59 - Mistah Walkah is investigating David and has discovered David has been in foster care and institutions. Mrs. Walkah is sympathetic. He meets David at Nicole’s school to have a little chitty chat chat which leads to this fantasticness. If you watch nothing else of the movie, please, I implore you, this explains everything.

00:51:43 - In this scene, there’s two rapid zoom-in close-ups in a row, meaning James Foley just remembered he could do that. Also, the lawyer Mistah Walkah is meeting with was EEEEEDRIENNE!’s shrink at the end of The Crush and that cannot be a coincidence so I choose to believe that I imagineered it into being.

00:52:20 - Nicole comes home and yells at her dad for bruising David’s sweet delicate chest. DAVID MIGHT BE CRAZY, YOU GUYS! The angst-level is at 11 and it’s time for “Come Down” to play again, then “Wild Horses” immediately after because a $20 million budget can only afford three songs. It’s fine. Nothing has ever been finer.

00:54:51 - Nicole tells David she loves him and they have a magical night, then he leaves. After mere moments at home, she decides to follow David where…oh. Oh things stop being fun and start getting real.

OK, so Margo is there and she’s in her underwear and she’s high on something, I think crack, and writhing like mad on Skeeve. David then steals her away violently and rapes her. Nicole sees all of this. And Nicole…is mad at Margo. Margo, who might as well have been wearing Lindsay Bluth’s “Slut” shirt the whole movie, gets raped and Nicole IS MAD AND BETRAYED. Ugh. Just ugh everything. I miss when this movie was all rollercoasters and clocks.

Anyway, Nicole decides she’s done with David. Not because he’s a terrifying rapist, but because he cheated on her with Margo. UGH EVERYTHING.

00:59:45 - Boring Gary is being boring and providing the exposition that Margo is not at school today and Nicole is all “UGH GROSS SLUT” and I’m all “GODDAMN IT, MOVIE, I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENDS.” Then David shows up and Nicole’s all screamy screamy and Boring Gary saves the day which will not end well for Boring Gary, you guys, and also maybe the school should stop letting 20-something drug dealers into the high school.

01:01:02 - Margo comes over sad because Nicole won’t return her calls, and says to little stepbrother, who is maybe 10, “when are you going to grow up so I can ravage you?” because even post-rape, the movie needs us to know Still Slut. Nicole confronts Margo about her hideous betrayal. Alyssa Milano actorates her damn heart out during another rapid zoom-in close-up.

01:03:06 - David tailgates now, too, tailing Margo so he can pull her over and be displeased at her. Wahlberg goes dark as shit in this scene. The movie has officially stopped being fun teen thriller and become some fucked up darkness.

01:06:16 - But it is also resourceful. In this time of DIY fanciness, who can resist a homemade tattoo?!


00:01:08 - Hmm, Boring Gary gets a whole scene to himself, alone, walking through the woods? I’m sure it will end just fine.



01:10:02 - Speaking of crunch, Mistah Walkah’s car has been baseball batted and adorned with a loving note that reads “now I’ve popped both your cherries.” Tendah.

01:11:21 - David is also at the mall where Nicole is with stepmom and stepbrother, because he has a lot of time to do a lot of things apparently. He tells her that their relationship is in her vagina. I think that’s what he says. I don’t know. I don’t know.

01:12:44 - Mistah Walkah breaks in to David’s house and finds Nicole’s bracelet and underwear, as well as a picture of her as holy saint Tracy Flick. This is his breaking point. So he breaks shit, including a pool cue which makes Skeeve very sad. There is a theme of male violence and destruction in this theme and I don’t think it’s on purpose because he’s the hero.

01:16:08 - Oh. Mistah Walkah just told the police David is running his own cartel. I guess it was drugs. I am hip and with it.

01:17:03 - David and co. are on their way over to bring a little “eye for an eye, tooth for a fuckin’ tooth.” In the meantime, Margo comes over all “Boring Gary is dead” and u cri evrytim. The dog wanders up to David and co. Little brother is walking around with his whistle waiting for his super bestie dog to come through the dog door. Which he does… at least, part of him does. Also, David and his friends cut the phone lines, which is the only way the security guard can get to them. Aren’t we glad they showed so many damn scenes of the security guard? Also, David has the security code. Shit got so real real fast.

01:19:35 - Skeeve sultrily points at Nicole again. He’s a skeeve version of the monkey from Family Guy.

01:20:37 - David and his friends are trying to break into the house with a drill and a log. With a drill and a log, you can conquer all things.

01:21:09 - Little stepbrother is rocking back and forth like an emotionally broken child who will never be OK again and Margo’s screaming like an emotionally broken girl who’s probably never actually been OK. Things are not going well at the Walkah house.

01:22:29 - Someone at the Walkah residence is trying to Morse code with the house lights. This catches the attention of the security guard the movie has been trying to remind you about the whole time. Everyone is all “everything is going to be OK!” David and his friends murder the security guard, then tie up Mistah and Mrs. Walkah. Everything is not OK.

01:26:37 - Skeeve humps Mrs. Walkah while he’s tying her up. I immediately open another window to see if anyone involved with this movie also writes for GoT. No, but the writer did also write four episodes of BJ and the Bear which I understand came from the same source material.

01:26:45 - Little stepbrother, the one who will literally never be OK again, has snuck out to call 911 from his mom’s carphone. He then runs over David’s friend after getting shot at, solidifying how never OK again he’ll be.

01:29:06 - David shoots Skeeve for trying to get rapey with Nicole, because even David knew this was getting to be a bit much.

01:30:40 - Nicole stabs David with a…thing. It’s a Native American thing she had on her dresser. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t really work. But it’s OK because David gets thrown out the window by Mistah Walkah. You know. The windows that were so reinforced they had to be broken with a drill. This movie is a documentary shot in real time.

01:32:36 - Everyone hugs, everything is OK, everything ends SUPER abruptly to the point I might sue for whiplash damage.

Thank you all for taking this journey with me. Sorry these movies have been trigger warningier than I remember them being. Tune in next Friday for The Craft which as I type this I remember also has a near-rape scene, what even the fuck, ’90s?

Umm….k. See you next week then. Look at some kitten gifs or something.

Read previous ’90s liveblogs of The Crush, Titanic and Batman and Robin.