Horror Movie Review: The Fury (1978)

The Fury is a supernatural horror film that was directed by Brian De Palma. It served as his directional follow up to 1976’s horror classic Carrie. The Fury is based on a novel of the same name by John Farris who wrote the screenplay as well. It stars Kirk Douglas as an ex-CIA agent on the run. His only goal is to rescue his psychic son before his abilities are used for nefarious purposes.

In Israel, ex-CIA agent Peter Sandza and his psychic son Robin meet Ben Childress, Peter’s old agency colleague. Sandza plans to leave his old life and move back to the United States with his son despite protests from Ben. Childress stages a terrorist attack in order to kidnap Robin. Peter narrowly survives but is unable to protect Robin.

Months later, high school student Gillian Bellaver discovers her psychic powers. They include telekinesis and extra-sensory perception. The uncontrolled manifestations of these powers cause harm to people that physically touch or provoke her. She volunteers to attend the Paragon Institute, a live-in research facility studying psychic powers in adolescents.

After evading Childress’ agents, Peter meets with his girlfriend Hester, a Paragon nurse. She tells him about Gillian. Peter tells Gillian that Paragon’s director is in cahoots with a covert agency led by Childress. They kidnap psychic children to use their powers as weapons in service of the American government.

As Gillian’s psychic powers grow, she begins experiencing visions of Robin’s abuse at the hands of the Institute. She eventually forms a telepathic link to Robin. Much like Peter, her main goal is to rescue Robin.

Can she escape the institute? Will Peter ever see his son again? How dangerous are these psychic abilities? Check out The Fury to find out.

The Fury is genuinely a multi-genre film. Its equal parts action, horror, drama, comedy and more. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really succeed fully in any one area. Instead, it’s a bit of a mess. The overall story is long-winded and dragged out. Coming in at just under the 2 hour mark, it could have used some refining. The plot is rather confusing and requires you to make certain assumptions. What exactly does the institute intend to use the psychics for? How do people with psychic abilities  exist in the world? It comes across like it is common knowledge. What exactly was the point of the psychic link between Robin & Gillian? I could go on.

Furthermore, we learn little to nothing about these characters. There is some exposition heavy dialogue throughout that is noticeable. I would have liked to see more to make me feel invested in story. We get little between Peter & Robin. Peter and Gillian meet far too late in the film to form any bond. The betrayal from Childress happens too early on to have any real impact. When Peter finally confronts Childress near the end, his reaction is comical.

The acting throughout is hit and miss. It fluctuates between exceptional and mediocre. Kirk Douglas is trying but the material isn’t that good. Amy Irving is good as Gillian. However, she gets dangerously close to being downright annoying.

On a positive note, there are some violent moments. I have no doubt that the levels of blood must have been shocking for the time. Unfortunately, the blood looks too bright red for my liking. Still, the effects do hold up incredibly well.

Also, the tragic ending is rather shocking. However, it felt as if they had no real idea where it was going. The explosive finale is really cool though.

Overall, if you want a film that has a similar vibe to Carrie then look no further. Considering their similarities, to compare this to Carrie only damages The Fury. It fails to be memorable in the same way and lacks rewatchabillity.


  • Liam Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Typical 90s-00s kid; raised on Pokémon, Final Fantasy & the Attitude Era. In fact, that makes up about 99% of my personality. The remaining 1% is dedicated to my inner rage for people who still don’t understand the ending of Lost or those that enjoyed the Game of Thrones final season. Find me on GBHBL where I’ll most likely be reviewing horror movies or games. Also, see me on our YouTube channel!

The Fury
  • The Final Score - 6/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)