The Fanatic is a 2019 psychological thriller drama movie directed by Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkit) and starring John Travolta in the lead role.
Moose, an autistic (supposedly; see the trivial below), movie-obsessed street performer living in Los Angeles gets an opportunity to meet his idol, actor Hunter Dunbar. When Dunbar rejects him, Moose begins obsessively following him, eventually finding his house, and everything goes downhill from there...
Why It Sucks
- The movie's genre is confusing, as it doesn't know if it wants to be a parody of modern-day horror thrillers with dramatic elements via the main character's role or take itself seriously with those genres.
- Some of the scenes and John Travolta's acting and dialogue seem (intentionally or unintentionally) comical, making the film a bit hard to take seriously.
- The very first line of the film is "Can't talk too long I gotta poo", not exactly a line you want to establish your movie.
- To say that the movie does a poor job at making Moose scary or menacing would be a generous understatement. The film instead portrays Moose as a completely child-like simpleton, rather than the mentally-ill nut-job he's supposed to be. He feels more like an SNL parody character than a proper horror movie villain.
- False advertising. The movie adverts try to make Moose out to be a murderous psychopath, especially the poster where he's shown holding a bloody knife. but in the actual movie, he is never even shown to be outright malicious or even murderous, but rather, mentally challenged and simple. Granted, he does kill Hunter's house-cleaner, but even then, that's by accident.
- The film is narrated by one of the side characters, which doesn't make much sense, as she has little relevance to the plot beyond a handful of scenes.
- It's impossible really to side with either Moose or Dunbar. Moose is extremely creepy and obsessive, but due to his mental disability and lack of self-awareness (both possible signs of stereotypical Autism), it's hard to completely blame him. And while it is understandable for Hunter to be annoyed and angry at him because Moose keeps going to his property, he's also an extreme jerk who is needlessly verbally abusive and aggressive to Moose, threatening him and screaming in his face, to the point where Hunter's fate at the end feels more like karma. There are even moments where Hunter comes off as even more mentally unstable than Moose (who is more child-like and simple-minded than mentally ill), for example the scene near the end where Hunter shoots off Moose's fingers and stabs him in the eye while Moose is defenseless out of sadism rather than self-defense, at-least Moose isn't sadistic or even murderous.
- Product Placement: At one point, Dunbar plugs one of the directors' old band's (the Limp Bizkit) songs during a car ride, and talking how great it is at his son.
- When Moose accidentally kills Hunter's housekeeper, it takes days before anyone actually notices the body, despite the body being in plain sight.
- The ending makes no sense; after Hunter breaks out, he tortures Moose for a while, shooting off his fingers, then stabbing him in the eye, but instead of calling the police on Moose, he just lets Moose leave, which comes off as illogical and very out of character.
- Hunter then gets arrested for somehow killing his maid (actually done accidentally by Moose) with no proof or build-up, despite what Moose did to him, throughout the whole movie.
- Moose apparently gets away with everything, despite his injuries, and the fact that he's apparently posting everything he did on social media.
- The acting (particularly from John Travolta) is so cheesy and over-the-top that it's funny.
- The cinematography is at least okay.
The film received negative reviews, and only made $3,153 at the box office.
- According to John Travolta himself, his character is supposedly suffered from low functioning Autism to explain the Character's horrible personality traits and actions throughout the film. And if that was confirmed by the director, then it really add another problem about this movie, as promoting a negative view of the people who suffering from the disorder.
- This is the third and very likely final film, directed by Fred Durst, after it did very poorly in limited theatrical release.
- This is also the last film to star John Travola before he took a hiatus from his career the following year to be with his family, following the death of his wife Kelly Preston.