Day 8: A Book That Scared You

He poisons their dog, tries to sniper their son, loosens the bolts on their tires, and somehow manages to stay outside the law.

I am not a fan of scary things. I dislike scary movies, and generally do not gravitate toward scary books either. When I read that back of Cape Fear I was a little iffy, but it was for class, so I decided I would get through it. After I pushed past the first part it really wasn’t that bad, but it’s just the concept that gets under my skin.

Cape Fear was written in the 50’s and has since been turned into 2 movies, one done by Scorsese. The original book features your typical nuclear family, all content to work together and be happy, except for the fact that a rapist that the dad put in jail while he was doing military service has started stalking the family, threatening them. Cady, the psychopath, actually threatens to rape the 13 year old daughter and does attempt to rape the man’s wife.

The first film made follows along the same lines, but the Scorsese film does not. Featuring Robert De Niro as Cady, the family has their own issue and are not so nuclear anymore, and may be just as bad as Cady, provoking him somewhat.

Since I read this book for a film adaptation class I had some time to compare the 2nd movie to the original book but I found that the book freaked me out more. While the movie is a fight between two grey entities, neither one much better than the other, the book had a different swing. What happens when the law cannot help you?

The characters in the book know that Cady will eventually come for them, that he will eventually get bolder and try to hurt them. He poisons their dog, tries to sniper their son, loosens the bolts on their tires, but Cady always somehow manages to stay outside the law. There is nothing that the police can really do due to not having enough proof or not knowing where he is, and other factors. Despite being on the right side of the law, there is no one that can help the family and they end up taking some major risks to protect themselves.

That theme was what I found most disturbing about the book even though it wasn’t “scary”.

It’s a quick read if you just want something to interesting to get through, but you can really tell by the language choice sometimes that it was written in the 50’s. Despite that it holds up fairly well and is entertaining. It reminds me of something you would find in a cottage somewhere. It would never be something I’d pick up voluntarily, but I certainly don’t regret reading the book.

Written by
I graduated with a BA in English and minors in Film, Women Studies, and Religion and Culture. I adore fantasy and sci-fi, especially when it comes to the YA section, but that doesn't mean I don't read anything else. When I'm not reading, I'm writing, biking, taking my dog for long walks or watching anime.

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