Martin Scorsese’s staple obsessions emerge with brute force in his update of J. Lee Thompson’s 1962 Southern thriller, a gruesome tale of good versus evil where no one is entirely good and everything is dialed up with unrelenting peril. Robert De Niro is at his most terrifying as Max Cady, a ripped ex-con hell-bent on punishing his former lawyer, Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte), who buried evidence relating to Cady’s case 14 years prior. In a film marked by a twisted sense of humor, Robert Mitchum—the original Cady—appears as elderly, honorable police lieutenant Elgart, while Cady’s defense attorney is played by 1962’s Bowden, Gregory Peck.