‘Fear’ Remake Will Explore the Stalker Thriller From a Woman’s POV
On a list of “movies least likely to get remade” you’d probably find Fear, the 1996 thriller starring Reese Witherspoon as a wholesome teen who gives up her virginity to bad boy Mark Wahlberg, who turns out to be a violent stalker — thus justifying her overprotective father’s concerns. But this is 2018, where anything and everything will be made or remade into a movie, and since women’s issues are So Hot Right Now, we’re getting a remake of Fear told from the perspective of the Witherspoon character.
There is reason for my sarcasm — as much as I adore Fear as a trashy ’90s thriller (one of my absolute favorite genres), and as interesting as a thriller about violent white male entitlement told from a female perspective could be, especially right now, Deadline’s report on this particular remake is…concerning. Universal has tapped Straight Outta Compton’s Jonathan Herman (who also recently polished the long-developing Scarface remake) to write the screenplay for this reimagining of Fear.
*Extremely Meryl Streep voice* I have such doubts! It’s not that Herman isn’t a talented screenwriter, or that I don’t find the concept potentially compelling. (Even if it’ll probably ditch all the trashy stuff, including the best part — Mark Wahlberg’s homemade NICOLE 4 EVA chest tat.) It’s that I don’t necessarily think that a man is the best person to examine violent male entitlement from a woman’s perspective. Sure, men can tell stories about women, and they are sometimes pretty good. But no one knows this particular story better than a woman; almost every woman I know has a story about toxic male behavior.
At this point, a remake of Fear from a woman’s perspective would feel like a documentary. You might as well call it Hard Same and give it an R rating for “relatable content.”
Just last night I saw another movie about a woman’s attempts to navigate her way through a violent misogynistic society: Red Sparrow. That movie was also written and directed by a man, and reader, let me tell you: It was not great. Let’s not do that again, OK?