Asif Khan (asifahsankhan)
Those soul wrenching words uttered by Robert De Niro's "Max Cady" in Martin Scorsese's 1991 Thriller Classic, "Cape Fear" gives a lot of us, the chills, even today. But while we're at it, let's think back to the original Cape Fear from 1962 first, with silver screen greats Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum as the leads. The movie was the pinnacle of suspense in the early 60s' (except Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho) with Mitchum's Max Cady being the epitome of creepy. His sole intent was to terrorise the family of his former lawyer Sam Bowden, and succeeding, until Bowden pulls a gun and ends the reign of terror without further conflict. Bowden lives happily ever after, Cady goes back to prison, the end.Territory like that was only beginning to be approached in the early 60s', and viewers were legitimately disturbed by the film's content; in the era of creature-features and sock hops, the scariest monster was the human one. However, come 1991, the true definition of the human monster was returned to the big screen when Martin Scorsese brought back Cape Fear with Nick Nolte as Bowden and Robert De Niro as Cady. The remake took the extra steps that the original couldn't, and as a result, the film was much grittier and darker as De Niro's Cady stole the show with a very terrifying interpretation."I am like God, and God like me. I am as large as God, He is as small as I. He cannot above me, nor I beneath Him be." – Max Cady.De Niro's Cady was the perfect villainous specimen. He was lean and muscled from his time in prison, heavily tattooed, eloquently spoken, and (go figure) his heavy Southern accent was both charming and unsettling. But the most unsettling aspect was his intensity. Cady came out of prison a hardened convict bent on revenge. He wanted recompense for the lost years that he received courtesy of Bowden and he wasn't afraid to cross that line.That's what defines De Niro's Cady as a villain. He wasn't above invading the Bowdens. He invaded them personally, emotionally, mentally, and literally. He invaded their sense of peace, their security, their privacy, and even went as far as seducing Sam's teenage daughter. He raped their sense of normalcy and forever changed their lives. He was a plague who made your skin crawl just by looking at him.Of course, that doesn't mean we didn't enjoy De Niro's Cady. His performance made the film. Only De Niro could properly perform a character as psychotic as Cady. His performance was so in depth that he even playfully tormented Scorsese while in character. De Niro was committed to the role, going as far as having a dentist alter his teeth for the role as well as study the "Southern dialect" by recording a bunch of Southern people talking into a mic. Somehow, someway, everything in the South only adds an element of terror in films.With all that being said, it's a smart film with a ripped, tatted, Southern, and just outright psychotic, De Niro's Cady is the epitome of a horror villain.
If you hang onto the past, you die a little each day. I was 11 years old when this movie came out and I remember all the "grown ups" talking about Cape Fear. Finally, at 37 years old I watched the movie since it was on Netflix. I thought it was great!I studied the characters in detail and how their daily lives where fear based (for obvious reasons.) But, the plot was great because it brought out some sins tucked away. Each day that passed, their fear grew stronger.Numbers 32:23, "Thy who chooses not to, behold, thy sinned against'd the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out."Robert De Niro and Nick Nolte did an excellent job going back and forth as lawyers.