James Spader makes Shadow of Fear worthwhile though he's really only playing it as James Spader. He's supposed to be a psycho who has blackmailed his way into "It's a Good Life" style center-of-attention men-of-importance club-president in a small town. But he's not the star, nor is any other interesting cast member such as Aidan Quinn or Peter Coyote.
No, the star is dullard Matthew Davis who is just not up to the level of the supporting cast. The equally forgetable leading lady would be more apropriate in a sitcom playing some fat comic's slightly good looking wife. If not for the background cast this film wouldn't have anything except Spader being Spader.
Davis's dull character accidentally kills someone & turns to power-attorney Spader who promises a cover up, which is equivalent to signing a pact with the devil. Liberating himself from the attorney's clutches becomes the equivalent of getting one's soul back from Satan.
The final confrontation between attorney & client is a piss-poor climax, & frankly, the wrong person wins.
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