Picks and Pans Review: The Face of Fear

updated 10/01/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/01/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Sun., Sept. 30, 9 P.M. ET)


This thriller, based on the Dean Koontz novel, starts off great but soon fizzles. Lee Horsley plays a psychic magazine publisher (there's one in every crowd) who gets a brutal serial killer peeved.

After an opening that is scarier and more violent than anything you're likely to see on network TV, you're forced to sit through an endless pursuit up and down the stairwells of a New York City high rise. Frankly, I've witnessed games of Donkey Kong that were more interesting.

Horsley hangs tough through the unmerry chase. (Holding up bad hour-long series like Matt Houston and Paradise, whoops, make that The Guns of Paradise, will teach you to float through anything.) But Pam Dawber as a psychologist and Bob Balaban as a police detective are way off base. And Kevin Conroy's gleeful Nietzsche-spouting villain begins menacing and ends up comical. As old Friedrich himself said, "Is not life one hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?"

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