A twisted sociopathic sleeper hit becomes dangerously possessive of its property on Netflix

via Universal

Psychological thrillers starring big names are almost guaranteed to be box office gold these days, but Reese Witherspoon and Mark Wahlberg weren’t quite the A-list superstars they are now when they shared the screen way back in 1996 as the leads of James Foley’s twisted Fear.

Not that the film wasn’t a success, but a box office haul of just under $21 million on a $6.5 million budget ensured that it fell into sleeper hit territory, as opposed to becoming a runaway smash. Nevertheless, a muted critical reception didn’t stop it from gaining a cult following in the years and decades to come, a reputation that’s been further enforced by the one-sided romance’s current performance on Netflix.


Per FlixPatrol, Fear has become one of the streaming service’s most-watched features around the world heading into the weekend, with subscribers no doubt lured in by the promise of seeing fresh-faced duo Witherspoon and Wahlberg face off in a nightmarish tale of lust, love, and ultimately a handful of murders.

The leading man’s David strikes up a relationship with Witherspoon’s Nicole, winning over her parents in spite of the age gap between the 23 year-old and his 16 year-old paramour. Naturally, it doesn’t take long for the familial concerns to prove well-founded, forcing the jilted lover on a rampage that puts everyone and everything in his path at great risk.

A 63 percent user rating on Rotten Tomatoes from over 50,000 votes being cast highlights an easily-digestible and frivolously far-fetched slice of slick genre filmmaking, one that’s sunk its hooks into the on-demand circuit more than a quarter of a century after its initial release.