A young couple move into a new apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins controlling her life.
Anna Rydell returns home to her sister (and best friend) Alex after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother, aloof father, and the presence of a ghost in their home.
A mysterious young girl with a large egg and a soldier meet and reveal uncomfortable occult secrets to one another in a lonely, beautiful, surrealist land populated only by restless shadows and an abandoned gothic / victorian town.
Different black-and-white animation techniques tell several scary stories. There's a story of a teenage boy who meets the wrong girl. Another tale deals with a small community where people disappear and are never seen again. Then there's the narrative of a little Japanese girl who suffers from horrible nightmares followed by a tale where a man doesn't get the rest he hoped for in an old not-so-abandoned house. These stories are connected by the story about a man with a devilish smile and four enormous dogs from hell and by a woman's monologue about her fears. Written by
Marco van Hoof <email@example.com>
Peur(s) du Noir is essentially 5 short black and white animations interspersed by segments of a woman droning on about her fears, illustrated with interesting animated black and white shapes (I should note, I watched the film in French, and as my French is not perfect, I did not catch everything she said, but got the general impression that she was your typical anxious overachieving yuppie).
The five shorts all used different animation techniques, but were overall pleasingly creepy. There was a cruel aristocrat and his dogs, an Italian village ravaged by a mysterious beast, a budding scientist and his insect specimens, a Japanese girl bullied by classmates/ghosts, and a refugee from a snowstorm shacked up in a Victorian house. This final short was, I thought, the most effective. It was done in pure black and white, and the only light shed in the house (with wonderfully Goreyesque wallpaper) came from a candle the traveller carried with him in his explorations. This allowed for some great reveal moments, and additionally built up the tension extremely well.
Overall, a must see for fans of art-house animation. If it comes to a cinema near you, take the opportunity to see it, because I suspect it will be difficult to find on DVD.
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