Twenty years ago today, Fear entered theaters and scared the living daylights out of parents and teens everywhere. Despite having the plot of a bad Lifetime movie, its solid performances and handsome production (the kind plenty of undeserving ‘90s movies were given) made Fear hard to laugh at. Even in 2016, it remains a chilling little movie—albeit one with questionable opinions about sex. (Specifically, that high school girls shouldn’t have it.)

Advertisement

Fear, as you probably know, tells the story of a 16-year-old “good girl” named Nicole (Reese Witherspoon) who falls for a bad boy with good pecs and a Boston accent that comes and goes named David (Mark Wahlberg), much to the alarm of her increasingly distant father, Steve (William Peterson), who thinks something’s up but can’t put his finger on it. After David figures out where to put his fingers, he and Nicole enjoy a few days of bliss, until he decides to kill her best friend. Their relationship eventually and understandably sours, so he decides to win her back by attempting to kill her entire family. Not the best plan, but psychopaths don’t always think things through.

Let’s take a look back at some of the film’s more memorable moments.

The Dog, When it Still Had a Head

This Seattle Cafe, Which Is Inexplicably Packed at Noon On a Weekday

The Shirt Mark Is Wearing When We First See Him

Bush, Who Provided Two Songs For the Soundtrack (Both from Sixteen Stone)

Mark Casually Throwing Amy Brenneman In the Pool, Much to the Delight of William Peterson

Mark Casually Fingering Reese On a Roller Coaster, Much to the Delight of Reese

Reese Witherspoon Waking Up...

...And Seeing This

Reese Witherspoon’s Handwriting

Alyssa Milano’s Character Constantly Screaming/Crying/Being Treated Like Garbage

Mark’s Handwriting

More of Mark’s Handwriting:

Mark, When He Lost His Head

The Dog, When He Lost His Head

And Finally, Mark, When He Lost His Battle With Gravity

One of the hallmarks of a movie about murderers who invade “nice” families (think Fatal Attraction, The Good Son, and Obsessed) is that they end immediately after the bad guy is out. Fear ends in the same way.

Advertisement

Seconds after he’s dead, the family hugs and the credits roll. We came to watch the good guys defeat him—that’s all. Two decades later, we’re still watching.


Images via screengrab. Bush image via Trauma Records.