The Fury


The Fury (1978) movie poster

(1978) dir. Brian De Palma
viewed: 10/27/08

I’ve seen quite a few of Brian De Palma’s films over the years, but The Fury wasn’t one of them.  I queued it up as part of my Halloween horror-fest for this year, though it turns out to not be so much a horror film but probably something that dips into several genre.  It’s certainly not his best.

De Palma’s “best” are debateably Sisters (1973), Carrie (1976), and The Untouchables (1987).  Most recently of his films, I saw Scarface (1983).  The thing about De Palma is that he channels Hitchcock like a wind tunnel at times, perhaps achieving some of his high points in doing so.

This film, like Carrie, is about teenagers with psychic abilities.  Unlike Carrie, it’s far less psychological, far less perverse, far more of a big adventure film.  It stars Kirk Douglas, an aging leading man at the time, who is trying to find his psychic teenage son, who has been abducted by John Cassavetes and some secret government organization.  There are some action moments with Douglas running, jumping, and crashing cars.  And the psychic phenomena moments, in which De Palma uses some of the film’s most effective editing, are sporatic.  It’s a bit long, too.

What is cool is the location shooting in Chicago in 1978.  I’ve watched several films shot on location in New York in that era, which is revelatory in a historical and cultural way.  Chicago, too, is interesting to see, a time not so long ago, but yet still significantly different from today.  Would it be sad to say that this was my favorite thing about the movie?

Hopefully, my coming horror films will begin to fit the bill a little better.

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