Casey Needs Good Will
Casey Cooper (Amanda Righetti - Wandering Eye) has a lust for life, she runs, writes for a local paper, works in a local coffee shop and also in a bar by night where people adore her. But that all changes when she encounters Morgan Pierce (Will Estes) who comes to work in the coffee shop as after suddenly flipping out disappears only to then beging to stalk Casey; leaving letters, repeatedly calling and following her in the streets when he's not watching her home. Distraught Casey learns that the police can't do a thing because he has never threatened her, leaving her helpless to stop her life crumbling apart in fear of what Morgan may do.
First things first and "Shadow of Fear" is not only also known as "Dangerous Attraction" but it is based on a true story. Unfortunately it feels more like someone has written a stalker story because it features the same ideas many other movies which tackle the subject of stalkers have used. As such we have the familiar aspects of watching Casey's life destroyed by fear due to the incessant calls, letters and the fact she knows that Morgan is watching her. What makes it a little more interesting is that we also have intrigue over Morgan because Det. Leary, who is called in to work the case, is unable to access his records. It makes you wonder what his history is and who is protecting him, although we learn reasonably early on that his stalking stems from the fact he is not taking medication to control his schizophrenia.
Thankfully whilst "Shadow of Fear" has a storyline which feels standard it also feels real thaks to the characters starting with Casey played by Amanda Righetti. Watching Casey go from being vibrant and strong to frightened and paranoid is a slow transition and a believable one to the point of complete breakdown. But what is just as good is that when she finally has the police on her side and they go after Morgan there is no sudden transformation back to how she was, there is improvement, there is confidence but a sense that she has been permanently scarred with that fear still there.
Will Estes is also good as Morgan who the first time we see him can sense he is not completely normal. The thing is that Estes gets the element of paranoia of his own character right giving us moments of silence followed by a snap of rage. It is captivating and also creepy, much of which is thanks to some powerful dialogue, but also because Estes never over steps the mark and makes him too much of a lunatic, stepping it up gradually.
What this all boils down to is that "Shadow of Fear" is a very watchable movie which whilst delivers what seems a standard stalker storyline manages to also attain a level of authenticity in many aspects of what happens when someone is being stalked.