THE FANATIC (2019) Reviews and overview

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‘When the Hollywood dream becomes a nightmare…’

The Fanatic is a 2019 American horror thriller feature film directed by Fred Durst (from nu-metal band Limp Bizkit) from a screenplay co-written with Dave Bekerman based on autobiographical experiences. The movie stars John Travolta, Devon Sawa, Ana Golja and Jacob Grodnik.


An obsessed film fan nicknamed Moose stalks his favourite action hero and destroys the star’s life…


” …it’s not bad at all. In fact, I would verge on calling it great; the one negative I could point out is simply a nitpick. The film features an occasional voiceover that I felt could have been dropped. Beyond that, I thought The Fanatic was a captivating, emotionally engaging thrill ride.” Arrow in the Head

“ …there’s a lived-in quality to the movie that’s intriguing, as Durst taps into the distorted yearn of loneliness and infatuation, pulling dynamic work out of Travolta, who’s rarely this committed to a part. The endeavor is rickety at times, with a few surges of ridiculousness, but it remains enjoyably uneasy…”

“It is menacing, cut and shot rather well, and the acting is pretty good across the board too- even with Travolta’s choice cuts of ham in there. The film even defies the expectation of it being a latter-day version of 1990’s Misery with its own ending twist. The lapses into pretension and cheese keep it from being a future classic.” Cryptic Rock

“While rough around the edges and in need of more narrative focus on Moose’s transformation from well-meaning nuisance to entitled psychotic, The Fanatic is competent enough to inject some much-needed pathos to the toxic world of celebrity obsession.” Film Pulse

“You’re actually uncomfortable not so much for what the character is doing but for watching Travolta bring it to life. It’s one of the ten worst films of 2019 but I guarantee it’s the only one on that list that I’ll be buying on Blu-ray and watching several more times. I don’t exaggerate when I say that I haven’t been to this level of Bad Movie nirvana in the modern era since the heyday of Uwe Boll.” Good Efficient Butchery

…The Fanatic is pretty mediocre in nearly every way, but Travolta really goes all in as the Moose. He even has a meltdown worthy of Nic Cage—and we mean that as a compliment. It is frankly a pretty brave performance for someone like Travolta, who is probably more used to identifying with Dunbar’s position. Regardless, he makes Moose acutely human and ultimately quite tragic.” J.B. Spins

“It’s one thing for a movie to be deadly dull or incompetently made—and this movie is both of those things, to be sure—but it descends to another level when you realize that it exists perhaps even intentionally to be nothing more than a cinematic version of an internet troll.”

The Fanatic is a thriller, but it feels more like 90 minutes of Fred Durst venting and getting a lot of things off his chest; apparently screaming into a microphone on stage isn’t enough. It’s a movie made as a catharsis, and aside from seeing John Travolta losing dignity and acting like a maniac, there’s not much else to it.” Screen Anarchy

“A tighter script that was more nuanced or subtle (this film features several obvious pop culture references, too) probably would have made it a better experience. This era could definitely use a defining film that tackles toxic fandom head-on and explores the impact that has on both fans and creators, but The Fanatic isn’t it.” Screen Rant


The Fanatic was given a very limited theatrical release on August 30, 2019. On-Demand and Digital releases follow on September 6, 2019.


The Fanatic had been due to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, however, the screening was cancelled when star John Travolta allegedly expressed reservations about director Fred Durst’s final cut of the movie. Reshoots were then apparently undertaken.

Cast and characters:

  • John Travolta … Moose – Carrie (1976); The Devil’s Rain
  • Devon Sawa … Hunter Dunbar – The Exorcism of Molly Hartley; 388 Arletta Avenue; Final Destination
  • Ana Golja … Leah
  • Jacob Grodnik … Todd
  • James Paxton … Slim
  • Josh Richman … Aaron
  • Jessica Uberuaga … Brenda
  • Marta González Rodin … Dora
  • Martin Peña … Julio
  • Kenneth Farmer … Dick
  • Elle Matarazzo … Agent
  • Jeff Chase … Security Guard

John Travolta, Ana Golja and Fred Durst on set

Filming locations:

Birmingham, Alabama

Technical details:

88 minutes

Film Facts:

The film was previously titled Moose.

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