The End of Fear (Movie Review)
The End of Fear is the highly-anticipated third in the award-winning The Nightmare Before Christmas franchise. Starring Jack O’Brien, Emmannuel Chriqi and Gabby Gallo, The End of Fear is a dark comedy directed by Christopher Walken. The film depicts Christmas Eve as an ordinary Christmas for two families: The O’Brien family, who live on Long Island, and the Gallo family, who have moved to Paris. When an unidentified assailant shoots dead Father Michael Galvin (John Ritter), the family’s small dog is attacked, forcing Jack O’Brien (Jack Nicholson) to deliver his family’s Christmas present – a wooden toy truck – to the French resistance.
As a consequence of this act, the subsequent Christmas period sees The End of Fear takes shape, with Jack O’Brien and his family forced to spend Christmas Day in hiding. The couple manage to escape and run away to visit their daughter Ester (Anne Hathaway) in the French capital. While there, they learn that their neighbor, Frank (Stephane Legg Costa), has been hiding the bodies of German Jews, which have been killed in the previous attacks on the Jews in Paris. When Theodor (Stephen Boyd), a German Jew, overhears them talking, he joins them and they end up travelling to Paris to seek revenge on the German Jews. There, they meet with the resistance leader, Fernand (asper Tschinkel), and end up fighting off the occupying troops, which are led by SS officer Hans Gruber (Christoph Koncz) and Field Marshal Ritter (Lionel Brown).
The strength of The End of Fear lies in its portrayal of the psychological dynamics of how people deal with fear and vulnerability. Departing from the usual psychological view of trauma as a physical occurrence, the movie explores how fear can affect the human psyche by affecting both the conscious and unconscious mind. The unconscious mind, believed to be the driving force of the human organism, responds to the experience of fear through reprogramming behavior, which in this case, is done through changes in behavior. Although The End of Fear may seem to depict excessive reactions to danger, it also deals with the psychological nature of fear, vulnerability, and the fight or flight mechanism, making the film an important contribution to the field of social psychology.