The Fury

Starring: Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes & Amy Irving
20th Century Fox

RRP: £15.99

Certificate: 18
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A government agent (Kirk Douglas) has his son kidnapped for his psychokinetic powers. He survives several attempts on his life, using a friend to make a connection with a girl (Amy Irving) possessing prospective similar abilities. He helps the girl escape a secret military research agency, and she in turn leads him to his son and a confrontation with the man who took him. However, the boy's mental prowess has progressed beyond his control and the reunion doesn't turn out as expected...

Two Brian De Palma films to review in quick succession, and as a minor horror aficionado I find it curious that The Fury in its entirety has managed to pass me by since its cinematic release in 1978. In an age when comic-book action and emotional overacting seem to take preference to the actual plot, it feels strangely refreshing to watch a twenty-four year old movie which is simple but well-told. The extent of the special effects amount to a blue light shone into a character's eyes, and the powerful son swooping down from high on the wall on quickly glimpsed wires. For the latter I felt obliged to half turn my head away and pretend I hadn't noticed, because it would have spoiled an otherwise effective film.

Luckily for Douglas his part involves little or no physical strength or fitness, and although he is by no means bad he doesn't make much of an impact either. The star of this film is Amy Irving; innocence, disorientation, fear, determination, it's all there in abundance. A good performance which deserves recognition.

Based on the novel by horror writer John Farris (who also wrote the screenplay), The Fury became one of a glut of psychic-related movies, in content perhaps fitting somewhere between The Eyes of Laura Mars and Scanners.

The DVD packaging states strong bloody horror; I think I must have blinked when that happened. There's very little of what would in this day and age be considered near-the-knuckle stuff, but The Fury succeeds for exactly this reason: it doesn't try to achieve too much.

Ty Power

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