The Fury (1978) – Brian De Palma

Kirk Douglas and Amy Irving star in De Palma’s first film after his success with Carrie, and this one is another supernatural tinged thriller, but this one boasts a score by John Williams, and viewers should watch for brief appearances by Daryl Hannah and Dennis Franz.

John Farris pens the screenplay from his own novel, and De Palma delivers it with his usual panache, as we follow a former CIA operative, Peter (Douglas), who has been involved with some fringe projects, and whose own son, Robin (Andrew Stevens) may have some telekinetic abillity. But when their mutual friend, and curent operative, Childress (John Cassavetes) fakes Peter’s death, to take Robin under his wing and hopefully weaponise the young man’s burgeoning ability.

But Peter is still out there, and is slowly working his way through the leads that will reunite them. As he eludes strike teams that are pursuing him, he comes across information about a school, run by Dr. McKeever (Charles Durning), which farms potential psychics for Childress, and among them, Gillian (Irving).

Using his romance with one of the facility’s nurses, Hester (Carrie Snodgrass), Peter works to get access to Gillian in the hopes of rescuing his son, but will Robin be too far gone by the time Peter finds him? And what will become of Gillian’s own developing powers?

While arguably not the best of De Palma’s work, there is still some fun to be had, the indoor amusement park sequence, the amount of fun Peter seems to be having after he breaks into an occupied apartment and needs some clothes, and the ideas themselves are pretty cool.

De Palma makes good use of locations, though some of his visual effects are iffy, others are spot on, and deliver his style of gore in pitch perfect moments, and John Williams’ score feels like it has some very Hitchcockian influences at work in it.

It defintely feels like a 70s movie, and that works to its advantage in this case, because you can blame the films faults on the time, perhaps, but it’s also great to see the styles and the environments of the era.

De Palma is a hit and miss director, like most, and it’s interesting that he chose to do two similarly themed movies back to back, both featuring female characters coming into their power. And while The Fury does not have any of Carrie’s cinematic tricks and shots, it’s still an enjoyable entry into the telepathic teen horror subgenre, and it’s got a heck of a cast.

Not to mention how the climax plays out, and the way the film ends! Loved the last few moments of this one!

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