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YMMV / The Fanatic

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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Hunter tells his son that Limp Bizkit was cool while playing one of their songs. It serves no purpose other than for the director to self-indulge in his past glory.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: It's hard for the audience to sympathize with either Moose (for his stalking tendencies towards Hunter and what he does to him) or Hunter (for being an all-around Jerkass).
  • Memetic Mutation: The film's ridiculously insensitive portrayal of the autistic Moose has led to some viewers claiming that John Travolta "went full retard".
  • Narm: The movie is filled with these.
    • Nobody seems to be disturbed by Moose's looks and mannerisms. Instead, people treat him like he's a nervous kid and not a creepy stalker.
    • A lot of the stuff Moose does to Hunter is more laugh-inducing rather than creepy, like when he kisses his forehead or fumbles taking a selfie with him while he's sleeping.
    • After Moose kills Hunter's maid, nobody seems to notice the maid's dead body lying out in the middle of Hunter's backyard for days, not even Hunter himself.
    • The scene where Moose has a falling out with Leah and has a tantrum at her, calling her "mean", blocking her on social media, and kicking her out his apartment is supposed to be seen as a dramatic and intense moment in the film, but really, the scene just comes off as plain silly and laughable.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Moose is supposed to be an unsettling example of how far fans can take their fanaticism, and the music and the direction is obviously trying to push that narrative. However, rather than portraying him as this crazed and psychotic stalker he is advertised as, the film instead portrays Moose as a buffoonish and child-like simpleton similar to Borat, with many borderline-comedic scenes involving Moose dressed up as an english-bobby while acting goofy, asking for a strawberry milkshake at a cocktail bar, and running around holding deer-antlers over his head while saying "Here's Moosey"! before badly playing the piano while singing badly in Hunter's home. All of that, combined with his looks (especially that ridiculous looking mullet), John Travolta's performance and even his name make it impossible to take the character seriously.
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  • Ron the Death Eater: Hunter Dunbar is treated by viewers as a complete Jerkass who deserved his fate at the end. However, many people forget that Hunter isn't a total asshole, since he is shown to be a caring and protective father towards and his son, and the only person he is a jerk towards is Moose, and even then it's because Moose keeps stalking him. Hunter does start off reasonable towards Moose, asking him nicely to leave him be, and only becomes increasingly nastier because Moose won't stop harassing him.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Despite the film suffering from being bad when it comes to screenplay and direction, it's still enjoyable for John Travolta's over-the-top performance, and has gotten a cult following for that alone.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: This movie can be seen as a poor man's version of Stephen King's Misery.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously:
    • Looking past the over-the-top performance he gives, John Travolta really looks like he's genuinely trying to portray a creepy fanatic who is supposedly on the autism spectrum. To try and underscore this, Travolta has been campaigning for him to get an Oscar nomination for his performance. Ironically, he wound up winning the Razzie for Worst Actor for his performance in this film as well as the movie Trading Paint.
    • Additionally, the other actors in the film do a pretty good job at portraying their characters, in spite of how awful the movie is.
  • Unacceptable Targets: Moose is intended to be on the autistic spectrum, though his disability is not elaborated on. Rather than portray the character and his condition in a nuanced and subtle manner, John Travolta's performance consists entirely of exaggerated stereotypes associated with autism in the media, reducing Moose to a cartoon caricature rather than a realistic human being.
  • Uncertain Audience: The movie can't seem to decide if it wants to be a comedy or a serious horror-thriller. It's clearly intended to be the latter. However, there are a lot of scenes involving Moose that would not feel out of place in a comedy film. Such scenes include Moose dressing up as an English police man making a fool of himself, and overall just behaving like a buffoon with the mind of a child throughout the whole movie as opposed to being this menacing and unstable fanatic he is advertised as, thus ruining the tone of the movie.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Many have accused the movie of making fun of autistic people and portraying them in a very unfair and demeaning way. See Unacceptable Targets.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Though we are intended to view Hunter as the victim of the unstable Moose, the film also presents him as needlessly mean and hostile even before Moose's breakdown.
    • While still desperate and pathetic, Moose's first attempt to get Hunter's autograph in the alley is ultimately harmless compared to his later actions, though Hunter is still rude and dismissive towards him and even threatens physical violence against Moose with very little provocation, while actually giving Moose his autograph would have taken far less effort note 
    • In the climax, Hunter tricks Moose into letting down his guard and attacks him, shooting off his fingers and throwing him down the stairs. Rather than simply escape or call the police when Moose is incapacitated, Hunter proceeds to further maim and beat the now defenceless Moose, including tearing out one of his eyes, with his expressions and body language even implying that Hunter is enjoying seeing Moose in such pain. That being said, the movie doesn't entirely condone Hunter brutally hurting Moose, since Hunter is visibly horrified by what he's done to Moose shortly after attacking him and is even nice enough to wrap Moose's hand in a bandage. It's also implied that Hunter's guilt and remorse for hurting Moose is the reason he allows himself to be arrested near the end when the police arrive, to atone for what he did.
  • What an Idiot!: Hunter breaks free from the restraints Moose put on him and stabs his eye out and shoots the fingers off his right hand.
    You'd Expect: Hunter to restrain Moose, call the cops, and claim self-defense against a man who committed a home invasion.
    Or: Hunter to just shoot and kill Moose. California has Stand Your Ground laws,note  and this is clearly a case where he would be in the right of said law.note  Plus, given how Hunter has treated Moose so far, it's clearly not like he would have that much of a problem pulling the trigger. Then again, Hunter is both horrified and remorseful for blowing off Moose's fingers and stabbing his left eye, which may have something to with why he chose not to end Moose's life.
    Instead: He inexplicably lets him go.
    End Result: The police cannot link Moose to the murder of Hunter's homekeeper and arrest Hunter instead, who didn't murder her.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: John Travolta as a mentally challenged stalker? Just whose idea was that exactly?
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: And the way Moose dresses isn't particularly threatening at all. In fact, he looks downright silly. Some "bright" spark thought it was a good idea to give the character a hair-style that resembles a hybrid between a bowl-cut and a mullet. He also wears a colorful hawaiian buttoned t-shirt with shorts and sneakers. He looks more like an overgrown 10 year-old than a disturbed stalker. Keep in mind, we're supposed to find Moose scary and creepy.


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