Thursday, June 18, 2009


Peur(s) Du Noir (Fears Of The Dark) (2008)
directed by Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre Di Sciullo, Lorenzo Mattoti, & Richard McGuire

An anthology of animated horror stories in French. The animation and imagery all around is enjoyable, the first story by Charles Burns, about a parasitic relationship(of insects, and girlfreinds) is the strongest and comes closest to being genuinely creepy. The others such as a story of a girl possesed by the spirit of a samurai, a boy whose town is beset by a mysterious "thing", a man who takes shelter and becomes trapped in a lightless house (some fine use of animated darkness here.), and range from okay to pretty good. There are also two segments broken up throughout the film. One about where an old man walks several snarling dogs, and periodically stops to release one on anyone he happens to pass, be they child, woman, or man. The other is more abstract where inkblots and geometric patterns shift around to a women reading an oblique poem, with lines like, "I dont know what I would say to an Afghan villager if I had to show the glory of western civlization through showing him television shows", and "I have a horrible feeling I'll be invited to a dinner party, where I'll have to eat maggots".
It's a curious film, that along with recent things like "Sita Sings The Blues" and "Persepolis", tries to show that animation outside complete CGI, can still pull some interesting tricks.
For the most part I enjoyed it though some segments are obviously better than others, and a few times the rhythm of the film is interrupted by stories which overlap each other awkwardly.
That being said it's an interesting and enjoyable enough film for the adventerous of mind and spirit, who don't require gore and sudden pop up ghosts in their horror stories. Horror, animation, and experimental film fans will enjoy it's mild pleasures, even though theres not much to fear in the dark, but the shadows are attractive enough in their own right.

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