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Crossing Over: “THE FURY”

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Welcome, FANGORIA Readers, to CROSSING OVER, our newest column that highlights the films, series and content out there outside of horror that is fashioned towards or pays tribute to our beloved genre. By shining a light onto these projects, FANGORIA hopes to open a world of entertainment perfect for fright fans that lies just beyond the borders of the horror community. So without further ado…

To be honest, this writer heavily debated featuring this film for this particular column because on many levels, THE FURY is a horror film. With make-up FX from Rick Baker, a post-CARRIE Brian De Palma and an tension-ramping score from John Williams, THE FURY has some truly shocking moments of bloody insanity throughout. And yet with all the aspects of action, mystery and political thriller strewn throughout, the horror of THE FURY often becomes a footnote in the film’s legacy, which is a damn shame.

For those unfamiliar, THE FURY follows a young man and young woman who both contain powerful psychic abilities. The young man is currently working in captivity, with shadowy government officials monitoring and testing his potential as a tool for warfare. However, his fugitive father is staging to break him free from control and manipulation, and his only help might be a young woman whose burgeoning telekinetic powers might be the one thing their adversaries could not be prepared for.

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While Brian De Palma has been an influence on many horror filmmakers, it’s clear that THE FURY is a predecessor for many fright films that would come later. For instance, the incredibly intense and brilliantly executed Tilt-a-Whirl sequence could easily be seen as an inspiration to the FINAL DESTINATION kill scenes, while the film’s influence on David Cronenberg’s psychic film SCANNERS is fairly undeniable. And with De Palma’s penchant for slow motion, sensory overload and shocking moments of violence, this writer feels as if Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING might have borrowed an element or two from THE FURY.

Even though THE FURY does have some fantastic bloodletting (especially the final moments of the film, which goes out literally with a bang), THE FURY is likely at its most terrifying when De Palma goes quiet with his horror. The fog-entrenched car chase scene features an atmosphere of tension one could cut with a knife, and the young woman’s slow-motion “jailbreak” sequence is orchestrated like a macabre symphony, all bolstered by Williams’ pulse-pounding soundtrack. Hell, even the more chaotic examples of psychic horror wouldn’t be half as effective if the calm before the storm wasn’t so foreboding and frightening.

Overall, while the action and drama of THE FURY may make pull the film closer to the thriller category, the film certainly provides some of the scariest moments of Brian De Palma’s career. It’s an intense and jaw-dropping film that far too fright fans in this writer’s generation have seen, and with the film now on Netflix, may receive the genre-supported renaissance that it rightly deserves.

About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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