Brian De Palma Vincent Canby - Essay

Vincent Canby

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

"The Fury" was directed by Brian De Palma in what appears to have been an all-out effort to transform the small-scale, Grand Guignol comedy of his "Carrie" into an international horror/spy/occult mind-blower of a movie. He didn't concentrate hard enough, though "The Fury" is bigger than "Carrie," more elaborate, much more expensive and far sillier. Let's face it—it's the De Palma "1900"—a movie that somehow got out of hand.

It's also, in fits and starts, the kind of mindless fun that only a horror movie that so seriously pretends to be about the mind can be. Mr. De Palma seems to have been less interested in the overall movie than in pulling off a couple of spectacular set-pieces, which he does. He leaves the rest of "The Fury" to take care of itself….

The things that keep one sitting through "The Fury" when one's mind knows better are the occasional action sequences … and the special effects that finally bring the movie to an end that recalls [Antonioni's] "Zabriskie Point," on a more personal level.

Vincent Canby, "Psyching a Spy," in The New York Times (© 1978 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), March 15, 1978 (and reprinted in The New York Times Film Reviews: 1977–1978, The New York Times Company & Arno Press, 1979, p. 182).