Search - Fear(s) of the Dark on DVD

Fear(s) of the Dark
Fear of the Dark
Actors: Guillaume Depardieu, Brigitte Sy, Nicole Garcia, Aure Atika, Christian Hecq
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
NR     2009     1hr 25min

It has been hailed as the most visually stunning and unsettling anthology in modern animation history: Artistic director Etienne Robial brings together six of the world s leading comic and graphic artists Blutch, Charles B...  more »


Movie Details

Actors: Guillaume Depardieu, Brigitte Sy, Nicole Garcia, Aure Atika, Christian Hecq
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/27/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 25min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

The artwork of charles burns...
N. Huston | at large | 11/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"...looks just as good animated as it does on the printed page. easily the standout segment in this anthology, in my own humble opinion.

'fear(s) of the dark' really is a classy production all around, belonging to the school of horror that sinks into your mind and messes with your perceptions of the orderly sunlit world, as opposed to the less introspective hack-and-slash, gore-for-gore's-sake movies that are more likely to plant butts in theatre seats.

beautifully animated in black and white, each segment represents the work and style of a different animator, each of whom is probably better known as a cartoonist. the variety of styles represented is very pleasing to the eye; each very different from the last, yet meshing together rather than working against each other. thematically, each segment deals with fear on a very intimate, very personal level: isolation, persecution, struggle, invasion, betrayal. where does the actual 'dark' begin and our perception of it end? i'll be thinking this one over for a while - with the lights on.

having read the other review (at this time, there is only one) on amazon, i'll admit i was puzzled: isn't this just a horror movie? what's with the politicking? fortunately, that reviewer had no idea what he or she was talking about. this is, to my eyes, an agenda-free film, and hooray for that.

it seems unlikely, in this age of unlimited 'saw' sequels, prequels and knockoffs, that a movie like this could ever be approved for any kind of funding. i'm awfully glad it did, though - it's a keeper."
Tried, came close...
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 06/23/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Peur(s) du Noir (Charles Burns et al., 2007)

I will start this off by saying that I love both Charles Burns and Romain Slocombe probably a great deal more than is healthy, so when I saw both names attached to this short (85 minutes) animated French movie, it was a no-brainer that I'd be watching it eventually. And while on some levels it's satisfying, it did feel as if it could have been better, or that what's here would have worked better on the page than it did on the screen.

We are given a number of little stories here, all framed by two different devices (one a narration about fear from a highly neurotic woman, another a wordless animation about an aristocrat and a pack of dogs he's trained to hunt humans). Burns' story appears first, and it's the best of the lot, soaked with Burns' own sexual neuroses that made Black Hole such an amazing read a few years ago. Marie Caillou's adaptation of Slocombe's story follows next, and to her credit, Caillou kept the stark, distressing tone of Slocombe's work intact. (Any Whitehouse fan will know it from the very first frame.) To a one, however, the stories are badly-paced, and while there are some really wonderful tricks in the animation in places, overall it seemed kind of crude. I'd recommend this only for established fans of the artists in question (along with Burns, Slocombe, and Caillou, you also get hits of Blutch, Pierre di Sciullo, Richard McGuire, Jerry Kramsky, Michael Pirus, and Lorenzo Mattotti, though the last only in a directorial capacity); others are likely to be either bored or annoyed. ** ½
Brian David Stevens | Marlborough, MA USA | 03/04/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I want to keep this short. If you like Anime', and the unusual?
Wow. This Film is a Blast. Not for the Faint of Heart, or for Children.

Again, Wow!
First-Rate, Except...
Bryan Byrd | Earth | 01/18/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"'Fear(s) of the Dark' is an anthology of commissioned, animated horror tales, and showcases some well-known and perhaps not so well-known creators, depending on how much one knows about the current crop of working illustrators and animators. Like all collections, it has it ups and downs, though I felt that, overall, this is an exceptional film, from both the standpoint of animation and the effectiveness of it's creepy, ghostly tales. Unfortunately, I found the implication of one scene so incredibly distasteful that I cannot recommend this film wholeheartedly.

There are six 'stories' in the film, though one, 'Hungry Dogs', is broken up into four parts, and another, 'Fears', serves as sort of an intermission between the entries, and is a narrator voicing particular fears while geometric forms and odd shapes twist and parade across the screen. The first traditional story, 'Laura', is by Charles Burns, who has a fairly large following in America after the publication of his graphic novel, 'Black Hole'. The interesting thing to me about Mr. Burns is his ability to create a sense of dread - oppressive dread - by juxtaposing normal activities with one bizarre, surprising element inserted at the beginning of the tale and then left to simmer in the reader's, or in this case, the viewer's imagination until the conclusion. 'Laura' is just such a story, and although it suffers a bit from a 'Twilight Zone' ending, there is a psychological element to it as well that only heightens the horribleness.

The next tale, 'Sumako', by Marie Caillou is presented as a Japanese ghost story, and is the weakest of the four conventional stores - a three out of five. The last two, though, I feel are brilliant, and depending on your definition, are as excellent examples of horror as I've seen in some time. Little happens in either 'The Great Plains', or 'Light and Dark', which is the key - I think the greatest horror stories are reflections of my own fears, and the less a movie or story says and the more it evokes from my mind, the greater success it will have. 'The Great Plains' reminds me of the classic stories of M.R. James, or Arthur Machen, or of Robert Aickman, where the details of the story are not so important as much as the otherworldly feeling that the authors are able to portray. Couple that with the narrator's voice (in French) and a style of illustration that has the heavy pencil feel of children's books from the 1940's, and it becomes an unsettling, atmospheric story of dread. 'Light and Dark', on the other hand, is just a fantastic ghost story that uses the capabilities of animated film to create suspense that I just don't think would be possible in a live action effort or in print form as sequential art.

It is the 'Hungry Dogs' segment that substantially damages the film. The 'story' is of a man holding the leashes of four savage, Great Dane-type dogs. He ranges over the countryside, and in the first short segment, encounters a small peasant boy. Here he releases one hound, and the last scene is of the boy disappearing over a rise, followed by the dog, and then screaming. In the second segment, the man comes upon a group of ditch-diggers, and again, releases a hound which savagely mauls one of the men. But it is the third segment which catapults the story out of the sadistic and into something else entirely. This time, the man finds a beautiful woman, dancing in a private studio. When he releases the third dog, it does not attack, but instead knocks the woman down, and as she cowers in fear, the dog, still snarling, pokes his nose under the woman's long dress until his head disappears. At this point the scenery changes to the roofs and steeples of the town as woman's horrified screams rise above it - the artist leaves the implication of the dog's subsequent actions to the viewer's imagination.

In light of the understated creepiness of the other, mostly excellent entries, I can hardly believe the maker's of this film were doltish enough to include something so blatant, and something so blatantly disturbing. It is possible, of course, that I'm being too harsh. Or too prudish - but to blithely, mutely accept the unacceptable is to give permission for it to continue. I'm not trying to censor movies that have sadistic fantasies for plot lines (nor am I in the market for them), but sadism is not a synonym for horror, despite the superfluity of films today that seem to say different, and I absolutely object to its use in a movie that primarily uses restrained techniques to establish a genuinely eerie and frightening atmosphere.

This film is in French, with English subtitles, and although it is an animated movie, I would suggest that it is inappropriate for preteen children due to adult themes and situations, and animated violence, and probably for making it difficult for them to sleep."