After watching "The Night of the Hunter" (1955; Charles Laughton) I thought that Robert Mitchum could never scare me that way again. How wrong I was! This afternoon I saw Cape Fear (1962; J. Lee Thompson) and I was like "oh, no, not again".
Even when his character from the only movie directed by Laughton was creepy as...I don't know, he was so creepy that I don't have a comparison, I mean he was trying to kill two innocent kiddies...the one from "Cape Fear", Max Cady, is almost as scary, because his evilness is spreading in an environment that feels real, without songs in the middle or a dark fantasy touch and he's just as unstoppable. He wants to take revenge of Gregory Peck, a counselor that testified against him and finally led him to be 8 years in prison.
Now free, Mitchum starts stalking Gregory. He let him know that he's going to hurt his wife and young daughter. He beats and abuses a random woman just to prove what he's capable of. At that point you're at the edge of your seat, biting your nails. Or covered with a blanket like me. What in the name of Cinema is he going to do next?
This movie is obviously a successful psychological thriller. The family starts to succumb little by little. The final part of the movie, oh my gosh, is so tense that I had to scream in several parts just to release some of the contained emotions. Mitchum had done it again.