YMMV: Cape Fear

Both films contains examples of:

1962 film:

  • Complete Monster: Max Cady as played by Robert Mitchum is a smug, slimy sociopath who went to jail for rape and returns later to destroy a man who testified against him named Sam Bowden. He murders the family dog, relentlessly stalks the family and destroys those around them, planning to rape Bowden's wife and daughter before he kills them
    Cady: Speakin' about your wife and kid, I got a little caper planned for them...I got something planned for your wife and kid that they ain't never gonna forget.
  • Values Dissonance: A mild example: when discussing how Cady could possibly think he'd get away with raping Bowden's daughter, Bowden concludes that Cady knows that, while her testimony would put him away for life, the devastating experience of having to testify and answer questions about it would be so traumatic that the Bowdens would let Cady go free before subjecting their daughter to the questioning. Nowadays, most people with knowledge of sexual assault cases (which Bowden has) actually encourage victims to testify for their own benefit as much as to help convict the assailant; modern psychiatric help stresses the cathartic effect of testifying against the rapist, and so, however upsetting it may be at the time, the Bowdens stopping their daughter from speaking out against her attacker would be unlikely to help her long-term recovery. (There's also the fact that today, many countries have laws allowing a child to testify by video camera rather than having to be in the same room with their attacker, but that's more a case of Technology Marches On rather than this trope).
    • Since 1962, awareness of stalking has increased and the law now offers much stronger protection for its victims. With the known history the two characters share, it would've been relatively easy to prove Cady was harassing and following Sam with malicious intent which would've netted him a trip back to prison for his trouble.

1991 film:

  • Complete Monster: Robert De Niro's Cady is a mad dog who brutally rapes and maims a friend of the target of his anger, murders those around Bowden and tries to drive him insane before planning to rape his wife and daughter here as well.
  • Foe Yay: Danielle was not scared of Cady. She seemed a little fascinated by him, until the end.
  • Genius Bonus: How many viewers were able to understand all of Cady's literary references, especially those to The Divine Comedy?
  • Moral Event Horizon: Cady's attack on Lori, Bowden's friend. See Nausea Fuel Below.
  • Nausea Fuel: Cady biting off a chunk of a Lori's face.