Cape Fear (1991) – Fear the Darkness

The remake of J. Lee Thompson’s “Cape Fear” comes with a picture of a scary monster figure. However, this is not a monster in general who has a row of sharp teeth or giants-body size. Martin Scorsese’s “Cape Fear” describes the figure of Robert De Niro as Max Cady as an ex-con man breed. He is a charming man in general and a playboy with tattoos on his entire body. However, make no mistake that Max Cady is a criminal but he is also a good person. He was a philosopher and religious man after Nick Nolte as Sam Bowden, the lawyer, stabbed him. Nick accused Max of raping one of the women but Nick buried alive the real evidence.

Max Cady is just a friendly-looking man, a very pleasant and gentleman. Inside, an impatient monster waiting to let go of his revenge. And the monster was eager to make Sam Bowden feel lost. While the original movie took Sam’s perspective as a father with a good family, the movie seems flawed and guilty. Two characters without who is the good person here either who actually is wrong. Is a lawyer having to play outside the rules? Is Max Cady just a nice guy accidentally accused of being a rapist?

The Bowden family lives in a large and well-off house. On the other hand, their family harmony is being tested by a stalker. Sam Bowden and Jessica Lange as Leigh Bowden often fight. As parents, they never listened to Juliette Lewis as Danielle Bowden as their only daughter. Therefore, Danielle really hates them and likes to lock herself in her room while listening to music. Besides being in trouble, the real test is not that. They must work together so they can expel a Max Cady after being sentenced to 14 years in prison. Max returned to Sam’s harmonious life, held accountable, and consequences for their 14 years.

“Cape Fear” is like confining its audience into darkness and covering it into the deepest fear ever existed. This film is like a nightmare where you try to find a way out. After breathing for just a few seconds, the nightmare keeps haunt you again whether you’re hiding. Like the waves that shout udder by tantrums. Max was very, very angry with Sam’s poor family. It starts with the most simple intro with the atmospheric horror ever but it just right. Freddie Francis‘ cinematography and the score drives the audience slowly so you have to be forced into its nightmare. Strangely, I know how the film ends but I’m just afraid of how Sam’s family would be lucky.

Max Cady is a terror to Sam’s family. Max is a solid foundation in this Scorsese-style horror thriller. Paranoid arise slowly and psychology is broke in such a way. After learning a lot about philosophy and of course the Bible, he was buried deeply by revenge. However, he was a genius and an intelligent man. He learns so much in literature and also an attempt to steal everything Sam had. “Cape Fear” really did a good job as well as the characters in this film. The pace of walking quickly unconsciously sometimes forgets how you got into the story inside, I mean, the nightmare. When Sam and his family were scared, you were also afraid to see Max Cady’s psycho action.

Max Cady, beside him as an antagonist, doesn’t make him completely evil himself. I like Scorsese’s trademark, how in his films he often portrays bad guy but still human. Likewise, with his other films, Max Cady is actually an insane psychopath. On the side Sam is a good person, he is also wrong because he has quit the law itself and failed to become a lawyer. Max did revenge because in fact everything that Max had in the past was lost and taken by Sam himself. So, who is really evil here? Who is really worth rooting here? Apparently, Scorsese prefers ambiguity rather than seeing this one or another character as a hero.

“Cape Fear” has a lot of fear, tension, and violence but wrapped in a unique way by Scorsese. Of course, an extraordinary acting performance supported this movie. Robert De Niro is just a convincing monster and psychopath. Nick Nolte is also great as a paranoid character who at first seems normal but gradually he breaks badly. Juliette Lewis is like a Snow White. She is innocent, easy to tease, I mean, manipulated, and hesitant in acting. On the other hand, she is spontaneous but smart. Instantly, this film makes a classic horror story with the style of slasher. Solid but tense, fear can never be forgotten.

Martin Scorsese is a master of Hollywood genre. Not separated from its own theme and trademark, it makes this movie as the greatest piece of filmmaking. At first, Steven Spielberg was appointed to remake the original. After that, he finally rethought and pointed to Scorsese because he thought the film would be better. It’s a Scorsese touch in any genre. “Cape Fear” is the most solid natural fear in a horror genre itself.

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Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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