The Fury (1978)

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CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS

An experience in terror and suspense.

Directed by .

Written by John Farris.

AKA

France: Furie

Peter Sandza (Kirk Douglas) and his son Robin (Andrew Stevens), who has special abilities, are at the beach with a man called Ben Childress (John Cassavetes) when a firefight breaks out. Robin believes his father is killed when the boat Peter is escaping on explodes in flames. Robin is taken to safety by a man called Robertson (J. Patrick McNamara) who works for Childress. Peter isn’t dead and opens fire on Childress when he realises Childress was behind the attack, wounding him.

A psychic girl called Gillian Bellaver (Amy Irving) is found by fellow psychic Raymond Dunwoodie (William Finley) who is working for Peter; Peter wants to use Gillian as a way of finding his son. However, Peter is located by Childress and has to get away, finding refuge with the Nuckells family for a short time. Gillian shows remarkable ability in a class experiment on psychic ability and makes a classmate’s, Cheryl (Hilary Thompson), nose bleed who touches her. Peter meanwhile is still trying to elude Childress and contacts his girlfriend Hester (Carrie Snodgress) for help.

Gillian goes to stay at the Paragon Institute where they research extrasensory perception, run by director Dr. Jim McKeever (Charles Durning), where she undergoes tests. Peter’s girlfriend Hester works at the Paragon Institute as a nurse. While there, Gillian has an episode where she sees Robin in a vision. Childress shows up asking if Gillian is another Robin Sandza.

Peter wants Hester to get Gillian out of the Paragon Institute so he can use her to find Robin. Gillian continues to have visions of Robin, of the time he spent at the institute.

Elsewhere, Robin has become unstable and dangerous.

The Fury is a great film with a phenomenal cast. It’s more of an action film than De Palma’s previous horror, Carrie (1976), and that’s mostly refreshing, a completely different take on a story involving supernatural powers; that said, Carrie is the better film. The Fury is very grand with music by giant John Williams (a real blockbuster of a horror movie) and great effects, especially considering the time, and with an incredible finale. Amy Irving is perfect in her role, you’ll probably remember her as Sue Snell in Carrie, and Kirk Douglas is fun. To be honest I’m not really into horror films that involve government agencies and so on, I tend to find them quite boring, often the horror is lost in a tiresome plot about the government wanting a new supernatural weapon or whatever and The Fury does fall into that category. However, De Palma gets it right and The Fury is a very decent film that stands up to repeated viewings. If anything I’d say it’s an underrated classic and it’s easy to recommend.

Also stars Melody Thomas Scott as LaRue, Jane Lambert as Vivian Nuckells, Eleanor Merriam as Mother Nuckells, Gordon Jump as Mr. Nuckells, Daryl Hannah as Pam, Dennis Franz as Bob Eggleston, Joyce Easton as Katharine Bellaver, Carol Eve Rossen as Dr. Ellen Lindstrom, Alice Nunn as Mrs. Callahan, Rutanya Alda as Kristen, Fiona Lewis as Dr. Susan Charles, Tom Blair as Top Guy 1 and Gunnar Lewis as Top Guy 2.

Other films I’d recommend if you enjoyed The Fury:

Carrie (1976)

Scanners (1981)

Firestarter (1984)

TheFury(4)