Friday, November 01, 2013

The Fury

Directed by Brian De Palma and written by John Farris that is based on his novel, The Fury is the story of a young woman who is asked by a man to find his son as they both share psychic powers where the man’s son is being used by an intelligence operative as a weapon. The film is an exploration into the world of telekinesis and other psychic powers where a man asks a girl to find his son and save him from total destruction. Starring Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Amy Irving, Andrew Stevens, Carrie Snodgress, and Charles Durning. The Fury is a chilling yet stylish film from Brian De Palma.

The film is a simple tale about a man trying to find his son one year after he had been presumed dead following a terrorist attack in the Middle East where he asks a young woman who shares the same kind of psychic power that his son has to find him. Yet, it is filled with a lot of suspense where this young woman is just trying to learn more about her psychic powers as she’s afraid to hurt people while learning that an intelligence operative will try to find her so she would be used as a weapon the same way he’s doing to a young man that he’s taken from his former best friend. It is a film that explores the world of the psychic powers where this young woman tries to find some control yet learns about the horrors of what is happening to this young man as she would eventually help this man’s father who just wants him back.

John Farris’ script definitely takes its time to play into the suspense while exploring the world of psychics while making it an adventure film where a father asks a young girl to find his son. Even as its lead character Peter Sandza (Kirk Douglas) just wants to find his son Robin (Andrew Stevens) and give him back a life without danger or secrets since Peter is known as a spy. Yet, the betrayal of his friend Childress (John Cassavetes) makes the search more personal as Peter knows he’s being watched as the only ally he has is a nurse named Hester (Carrie Snodgress) who works at an institute that Robin was briefly was in. When Esther learns that a young girl named Gillian (Amy Irving) is taken in as she has the same powers that Childress wants, she helps Gillian escape in order to help Peter find Robin before he becomes this ticking time bomb that will destroy everything around him.

Brian De Palma’s direction is definitely very stylish in the way he creates some compositions as well as the presentation of some of the film’s horror. Still, De Palma keeps things simple with the opening sequence where Peter and Robin are in the Middle East having some fun with Childress until a terrorist attack occurs where Peter is presumed dead yet he realizes what is really going on. Since much of the film is set in Chicago, De Palma creates some very suspenseful sequences where Peter is being chased by Childress’ men as well as create some small yet suspenseful moments where Gillian deals with her powers. When she’s taken to an institute, things seemed fine until she touches one of her doctors where she has this image of what is happening to Robin where it would amp up the suspense.

The direction would also include some very chilling scenes that involve Robin trying to maintain control of his powers but it becomes very clear that he is also very unstable where a sequence set in an amusement park showcases what he’s becoming. Though there’s a few moments where some of the presentation of the suspense doesn’t work entirely, it does play into the stakes that Peter Sandza and Gillian have to deal with where the eventually confrontation with Robin and Childress does occur. Even as it involves psychic powers and emotions that play into this climax. Overall, De Palma crafts a very thrilling yet fascinating film about a father trying to get back his son from dark forces.

Cinematographer Richard H. Kline does excellent work with the cinematography for many of the film‘s nighttime interior and exterior looks with its lights while keeping things simple for its daytime interior and exterior scenes. Editor Paul Hirsch does brilliant work with the editing where it is emphasized by its sense of style from its jump-cuts, dissolves, and slow-motion cuts to play into the film‘s suspense. Production designer Bill Malley, with set decorator Audrey A. Blasdel and art director Richard Lawrence, does terrific work with the set pieces from the look of the institute as well as the mansion that Childress lives in.

Costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge does some nice work with the costumes as it‘s mostly casual in some parts with the exception of the people working for Childress. Special makeup effects by Rick Baker does fantastic work with some of the makeup work that happens whoever people touch Gillian where they bleed and such. Sound editor Dan Sable does superb work with the sound to play into the atmosphere in some of the film‘s location as well as the scenes of terror. The film’s music by John Williams is amazing for its sublime orchestral score to play into its suspense as well as its use of electronic backgrounds to help build up the suspense.

The casting by Lyn Stalmaster is incredible for the ensemble that is created as it features some early appearances from Daryl Hannah as a schoolmate of Gillian, James Belushi as a beach bum, and Dennis Franz as a patrol officer Peter carjacks. Other small roles include William Finley as a man who follows Gillian early in the film for Peter, Rutanya Alda as a secretary at the institute, Joyce Eaton as Gillian’s mother, Carol Rossen as a doctor at the institute, and Fiona Lewis as Dr. Susan Charles who watches over Robin as she tries to manipulate him for Childress. Charles Durning is terrific as the institute head Dr. Jim McKeever who is aware of Gillian’s powers knowing that Childress will do something bad to her. Andrew Stevens is superb as Robin Sandza as a young man who is taken by Childress where he finds himself as this unstable psychic weapon that has no control of his emotions.

Carrie Snodgress is wonderful as Peter’s lover Hester who helps him to find Gillian as she works as a nurse in the institute while dealing with what is really going on inside. Amy Irving is amazing as Gillian as this young woman who deals with her psychic powers and visions as she also helps Peter find Robin realizing the psychic connection she has with him. John Cassavetes is brilliant as the slimy Childress as a man who realizes the power that Robin and Gillian have as he tries to use them as weapons while also trying to eliminate Peter. Finally, there’s Kirk Douglas in a phenomenal performance as Peter Sandza as a man just trying to get his son back from the man who portrayed him where Douglas brings a lot of gravitas and charm to a good man while also proving to be a badass.

The Fury is a remarkable film from Brian De Palma that features some exhilarating performances from Kirk Douglas, Amy Irving, and John Cassavetes. The film is definitely one of De Palma’s finest films in terms of the horror that he creates as well as create an engaging tale of a father trying to get his son back. In the end, The Fury is a sensational film from Brian De Palma.

Brian De Palma Films: (Murder a la Mod) - (Greetings) - (The Wedding Party) - (Dionysus in ‘69) - (Hi, Mom!) - (Get to Know Your Rabbit) - Sisters - Phantom of the Paradise - Obsession - Carrie - (Home Movies) - Dressed to Kill - Blow Out - Scarface - Body Double - (Wise Guys) - The Untouchables - Casualties of War - The Bonfire of the Vanities - Raising Cain - Carlito’s Way - Mission: Impossible - Snake Eyes - Mission to Mars - Femme Fatale - The Black Dahlia - (Redacted) - Passion (2012 film) - (Domino (2018 film))

© thevoid99 2013

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