Cape Fear is a thriller guided by a simple and realistic story but, mostly, by an impressive and convincing acting crew. Robert De Niro is menacing and mysterious, Nick Nolte nervous and defenseless, Juliette Lewis is innocent and, as always, confused.
This film is one of the best in terms of character development and suspense. De Niroís dark character is truly despicable. He is witty, knows biblical verses and the law. He doesnít hesitate to use them to support his perception.
When Max menaces Sam tranquil life, the latter does everything in his power to get rid of him. Every time he tries something, it comes back to bite him in the ass in a crescendo of situation reversals. Therefore, it is easy to sympathize with the good guys even if they have their flaws.
Constant close-ups and general camera angles add a necessary touch to the dramatic scenes. Particular importance is given to the surrounding decors in the different locations we visit. This attention to detail helps sustain our interest in the filmís environment.
Cape Fear makes us reflect on the limits of human obsession and to what point it can affect us by placing us inside an adulterous father that let his feelings harm the task at hand. He now gets what he deserves for his previous sins.