Fear(s) of the Dark

Still from the segment by filmmaker Blutch

Fear(s) of the Dark is a chiaroscuro nightmare – well, actually, maybe more of a bad dream. It’s not really frightening in terms of today’s horror film standard, there is virtually little to no gore in any of the stories. It’s an “anthology film” (or collection of shorts) all dealing with characters who experience fear in various ways. Part of the problem is that it’s animated and monochromatic. Comic book lovers may find it a pleasant experience to see the still, inked frames come to life, but a film lover like me found it difficult to stay captivated.

In terms of relating it to other films, it looks stylistically like Sin City, but with an arthouse twist. In the whole anthology there are only one or two bursts of color: red and green. They happen in an interlaced – almost poetic – recurring segment that consists of visual trickery and a female narration that confesses all the many things that scare her in life.

For the most part each of the segments in the film are interesting, although far from thrilling or scary. There’s one about a pack of angry dogs who are all leashed up, but their master lets one go throughout the course of the entire anthology. Each time he lets one go, it mauls and kills someone nearby, until finally (and obviously) he sics the last one on himself. Another segment is about a man who discovers a large, empty house and breaks inside to get out of the blistering cold. There’s no light in the house, so he lights his way with firelight and that is the extent to which we can also see. It’s actually one of the best in the compilation and rightfully is placed at the end of the film.

Still from the segment by filmmaker Richard McGuire.

There’s not a lot to sink your teeth into here, but for the most part it all feels nicely original and if you’re into graphic design and art, this is certainly a film that you should check out for some inspiration.


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