I’m A 90’s Bitch: Fear

FEAR

So I’m starting a new reviewing system that will be posted every Sunday. These reviews will be about things from the 80’s-2010’s that I’m watching as a 90s bitch because I DON’T CARE I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The first one in this series is the 1996 film Fear, starring Reese Witherspoon (I love her so fucking much), Alyssa Milano (who has been pretty active in the #MeToo movement, though needs to be giving more credit to the actual founder, Tarana Burke) and Mark Wahlberg (who used to beat up people because he was racist, but seems to have genuinely made dramatic improvements throughout his entire life to improve on who he is).

This movie has a content warning of domestic violence, strong violence, stalking, and may be distressing for some people.

*** Beware Ye All Who Dare Enter Below, For Below Lay Spoilers ***

Okay, so I’m watching Fear which I was able to purchase for $6.98 from JB during one of their sales. I don’t know if it’s on any streaming sites.

The movie opens with that CSI guy running and a dog that I already love. Scott Googled “Does The Dog Die?” and assures me that at some point in this film, when things get to the climax, the dog will go to live on a very happy farm. If you don’t believe Scott’s version of events, I would check out “Does The Dog Die?”, but for everyone else, this is a great dog, we love dog, and dogs never die in the movies I watch.

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We love dogs so much, there’s now two! Yay! PC: Tenor

They go on holidays occasionally, but they don’t die.

Trust me, if you get me talking enough just about that Futurama episode, I will start crying. Not straight away, but if you want to talk about that episode, I’ll eventually get so sad I’ll cry because I love cartoon imaginary dogs more than I love most humans it would seem. And if you don’t know what I mean by that Futurama episode, type “Seymour Futurama” into Google and then have your heart broken.

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Fuck whoever created this gif. Also, thank you. But mostly fuck you.

CSI-guy makes a big deal about what his daughter is wearing, effectively slut-shaming and victim-blaming everyone, including twelve-year-olds, which is disturbing. I get that this is meant to be exposition and shit to illustrate the doting, loving, protective father, but stop sexualising kids. You can be protective without sexualising anyone.

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The outfit the dad has a problem with. Seriously. PC: YTS Downloads

Nicole sees David for the first time, hanging out at some bar thing she’s hesitant to go in but does because peer pressure and friends, and even though she seems to think his friends are bad news, you can tell by her face that because David looks young, well-dressed and attractive, she thinks he’s different.

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Nicole waiting with her friends before she sees David PC: Forever Starlet

This is a really, really important lesson: That dreamy look on Nicole’s face when she sees David and she’s clearly thinking, Oh, he’s not like those other guys, she’s wrong. While there’s a good chance that in your friendship circle someone has an unhealthy relationship and you probably know an abuser, people have a tendency to be like their friends. You know, similar interests and all that?

So if you don’t like the look of everyone else in that group, just because someone’s clean-cut and well-dressed doesn’t mean they’re any different.

Damn, Reese Witherspoon is a pretty damn good actress.

The dad (CSI guy) has to cancel because he has work plans, and everyone gets really upset, and Nicole heads out with her best friend, Margo.

Nicole and David ‘bump’ into each other, and it’s cute because I remember playing this game when I was in high school/uni. The one where you’re absolutely smitten with someone but you don’t even know how to flirt and you’re super excited that your crush is talking to you so words.

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Nicole and David talking. PC: Geek Tyrant

A fight breaks out and David safely rescues Nicole.

I also think I’m going to try and find pictures of Reese Witherspoon in Fear, because I think her clothes are uber cute.

This current build-up between David and Nicole is very accurate. David’s originally seemingly aloof, though I doubt he ever was, because abusers seem to be very good at seeking out their victims. He forces Nicole to come to him, but then he saves and protects her. She confides in him, because intimacy is created by his rescue and calm demeanour, which allows him to create a small, tiny, nothing change – one half of you have probably done yourself, and half of you wished you’d done, and one we’ve at least all considered – by moving her watch backwards so she can stay out later.

It’s brilliant because it’s so effective – people do it all the time, so it’s not that big of a deal, especially amongst kids (in the sense that winding a clock back is just typical teenage rebellion). That’s why it’s so sneaky and effective because the person is already manipulating you to a certain direction, and it isn’t just because of typical teenager rebellion of staying out an extra few minutes.

When Nicole returns home, her step-mum, Laura, is angry (which is fair), but then tells Nicole to ‘take off her make up because she looks like a slut’, which is definitely not fair.

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The scene where Laura slut-shames her step-daughter. Fuck you, Laura, Nicole looks cute. PC: Personalxstyle

THIS 90S BITCH IS NOT HERE FOR YOUR SLUT-SHAMING, LAURA.

David catches CSI-guy checking out Margo when she bends over (deliberately, so he can look) and smiles, because they both know what he was thinking.

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Margo, talking to Nicole’s dad. PC: Texags

It’s just Steven (CSI-guy) wants to be a ‘good guy’, so he draws the Kevin-line in the sand, and if you don’t understand that specific reference, stop everything immediately and go watch Hannah Gadsby’s speech. Also which her stand-up show on Netflix, Nanette.

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Hannah Gadsby PC: Buzzfeed

I LOVE Reese Witherspoon’s outfit on the rollercoaster scene. I definitely need to find this with you to share.

David fingers Nicole on the rollercoaster, and if you wanted that (Nicole does) and there wasn’t CCTV footage, I imagine that would feel amazing. I fucking love rollercoasters and the idea of that gets me sexually aroused, but unfortunately, CCTV is a thing.

Steve and Laura need to go up to Vancouver for work, leaving Nicole, her step-brother Toby, and Kaiser, the dog, whose name would be better if it were Kitty because I think Kitty would suit a German shepherd better than Kaiser, and Nicole seizes this chance to get laid (hey, no judgement here).

I didn’t have sex until uni, but that was mostly because no one really wanted to date me, and those that did didn’t want to commit to me, and I kind of wanted my first time to mean something (again, no judgement, and if anyone here believes in conservative-sex values, don’t hold me up to support any agenda other than this one: I waited to have sex because sex, while fun, means something to me. I have never wanted to, or been able, to be too-physically intimate without having strong feelings for someone, and I value myself enough that I know what I would get hurt in situations if I tried to be someone I’m not. That’s all that means. I support people’s right to fuck on the first date – and sex workers, might I add, I’m a huge sex-worker advocate and I think sex work shouldn’t be illegal and I hate the bullshit stigma tied to it, especially when half you judgy fucks are obviously investing in that billion dollar industry, just as much as I support a person’s decision to abstain from sex for any reason (or to just not like sex, which is perfectly fucking normal).

Nicole tells David the passcode, which is 1432, which I’m pretty sure is on the Top 10 for Passwords Not To Choose For People Who Think They’re Clever But Aren’t, which makes me sad because I know I’ve used that number passcode for something before.

David and Nicole sleep together, and it’s very sweet and David seems to stop and wait for cues for Nicole, which is romantic.

To be honest, if David hadn’t immediately beaten up Nicole’s friend because she hugged him goodbye, he would most likely have had her. It’s hard to explain unless you’re there, and it’s different for every abuser-victim relationship, but abusers learn your buttons. I remember my ex got angry for no reason every early into our relationship – probably like maybe a week in – and I was honestly planning on ending the relationship when his behaviour did a massive 180. He told me about how he’d witnessed his uncle beat his cousin to death and how he had to testify, and the memories had just come up, and he hadn’t to have meant to have lashed out. It was stupid. Could I please forgive him?

And I did. I so did. I fell for the story hook, line and sinker. I can’t even remember what he was angry about, because that became everything. And I don’t think he raised his voice at all for three months. Granted, after that, his temper would come out at varying levels and degrees, but by that time, I was suckered in. I never questioned the story, and because his behaviour was immediately completely different, I never suspected that I should follow up with anyone, so no one ever pointed out the inconsistencies, the things that I was missing, that are so obvious now to look back on, but weren’t then.

Nicole gets flowers from David, and Steve and Laura hear her crying, and Nicole tells them about the fight* (*David beat the shit out of Nicole’s friend).

Steve then becomes irrationally angry when he sees the condom wrapper and scolds her about ‘screwing up her whole life’.

Nicole is pretty #woke, and responds, ‘Not everything I do is about you’, which is true, because a) she literally doesn’t know he’s seen the condom wrapper so he’s just started going off at her for ruining her life for no reason and b) when Nicole slept with David, she at least thought she was falling in love with him. It’s evident in the conversation she has with her friend before David beats him up.

I can understand a parent panicking about their child daughter* (let’s face it, mostly the daughters) having sex, but there’s a huge fucking difference between being concerned about your child practicing unsafe sex (which if there’s a condom wrapper they obviously weren’t), and slut-shaming someone.

And the ‘You’re destroying your whole life!’ thing is not going to work on anyone who thinks they are falling in love (or if they are). This is what sometimes parents/older people/conservatives don’t get: Nicole has met and fallen for a guy. She’s obviously shy and quiet, and probably went mostly unnoticed, especially next to her more sexually-advanced friend, Margo. David is attractive, muscley, slightly older, and has his own car, which means that Nicole, who is still a teenager in high school remember, sees the look of envy on the faces of everyone, reinforcing this notion of just how lucky she is. He treats her wonderfully, so of course she thinks he’s a good guy. (This can apply to actual good guys, too, who genuinely love their partner.) When you’re yelling at her for ‘screwing up her life’ after she’s been responsible (by using protection) and has waited for someone she cares for, loves and feels safe with, things that you typically hold up in high regard, people will have a tendency to get very angry, and rightly so. Just because you think someone’s actions – like premarital sex – are irresponsible, doesn’t necessarily make them so.

Steve makes the mistake of trying to force Nicole not to be with David, and this is the worst thing you can possibly do. You cannot use force against someone you think is a victim, because if you’re right, the abuser will use that to their advantage.

Steve then researches David’s background about being in foster home, and Steve can’t convince anyone that this is a big deal, because it quite often isn’t, and you shouldn’t be hating on someone because they’re an orphan.

Steve and David then have a confrontation show-down and David then fakes that he was beaten by Steve.

Nicole decides to show up unexpectedly and sees David raping her best friend, Margo. Despite the fact that she can see Margo’s fear, and that Margo calls out in pain, and is forcibly dragged away by David, Nicole is no longer #woke and has discovered that victim-blaming trait from her dad, and decides she hates both Margo and David because they “slept together”.

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Nicole sees David grab her friend forcefully, and hears her cry out and pain, and still blames her.

Not because David raped her best friend.

I know the person we’re most meant to empathise with for the movie is Nicole, but I think Margo deserves more attention. She clearly has issues from being neglected by a bad mother, is raped, and is genuinely made to believe she is an object, and receives little to no support from anyone.

And despite her best friend knowing this, she abandons Margo immediately.

#WokeGary (Nicole’s friend, who David previously beat up) is the only person who comes rushing to Nicole’s defence when David starts grabbing Nicole in the cafeteria and Nicole starts screaming ‘Get away from me!’

Guys, if you’re struggling to understand when women like it when they come to your defence but then they complain, Gary is the guy we love. He’s the guy that stands up for you because it’s right. He’s had the shit beaten out of him by this guy, has no idea what is going on, but all he knows is that Nicole is terrified. He inserts himself between the couple, shielding Nicole.

Gary is a legit decent guy. Be like Gary.

Margo goes over to see Nicole, and it upsets me that Nicole can’t see through Margo’s brave façade, because her whole character has changed. The same words are coming out, but they’re quivery, shaky, and uncertain, no matter how firm she tries to make it seem. Her clothing has changed, and she’s clearly upset.

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Margo after being raped by David PC: Ingrid Richter

This is your best friend, Nicole.

You saw what happened through the window, there’s no way you’d genuinely think that was consensual.

She is your friend.

She needs you, not your slut-shaming and victim-blaming bullshit.

I think one of the worst things you can do to someone is what Nicole does to Margo as she’s screaming, begging, pleading for her to listen, that he forced her and that you’re my only friend, and that’s just fucking cruel.

David then violently attacks Margo, trying to get her to be silent in an attempt to rectify his relationship.

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David almost causes a car crash then physically attacks Margo before threatening her PC: Fear

David then violently murders Gary, for some reason. This one doesn’t seem to make sense to me.

Instead of immediately filing a police report when Steve discovers his destroyed car, Steve decides to break into and trash David and et al’s house, which is obviously going to upsetting to a deranged psychopath.

David easily convinces all his psycho buddies to go get revenge, because of course, but just before, Margo turns up crying, saying that Gary was murdered.

Before we go any further, I have it on good authority that the dog is about to go on his holiday.

As the dog going on holiday works more effectively when I don’t see the dog going on holiday, we skipped a few minutes.

No one can get through because apparently alarm lines are the same as phone lines, and while I’ve never had an alarm in any of my houses so I don’t know much about alarm systems, this seems to be a serious flaw in the alarm system company. If anyone has any interesting experiences, though, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Anyway, the battle goes on for a bit, and the security guard and a few of the bad guys get killed, including David. Margo is seriously injured trying to protect Nicole, and Nicole’s younger brother runs over a bad guy.

Everyone’s happy and relieved once all the bad people are dead.

I rate this 🍸🍸🍸martini glasses.

Standout performances: Reese Witherspoon and Alyssa Milano

The worst thing about this movie: The dog goes on holiday. The second worst thing is Nicole’s treatment of her friend, Margo.

What would you like this 90’s Bitch to review next? What are your problematic faves?

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