Fear(s) of the Dark

2007

Currently, there are two terrific, woefully under-released horror anthology films new to DVD. One is the more conventional Hollywood offering “Trick ‘r Treat.” The other is the rather unconventional French import “Fear(s) of the Dark.” For it, half a dozen graphic artists were assembled to deliver a tale, told in their own style of animation.

A loose, experimental framework actually makes no attempt to frame them; the stories are too divergent to try. A loner finally gets a girlfriend, only to find her undergo David Cronenberg-esque changes. Another outcast “” this time a shunned schoolgirl “” experiences nightmarish visions when she moves into the neighborhood. The best segment finds a man exploring an old, dark house, with little light to illuminate his way. His eyes play tricks on him all the while “¦ or do they?

The other pieces entail a village terrorized by a creature, and a crazy man who unleashes his rabid dogs upon various innocents. They’re less enjoyable, but help the mostly black-and-white film add up to a unique whole.

It’s rare to find horror treated as art, and vice versa. Don’t let the subtitles frighten you away from this gem.

 “”Rod Lott

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