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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Macabre anthology Fear(s) Of The Dark showcases the animated work of several international designers, comic book artists, and illustrators, all working within the confines of a black-and-white palette.
The first tale, instantly recognisable as the work of celebrated illustrator Charles Burns, tells of an introverted young man who overcomes his shyness to romance classmate Laura, only for his new girlfriend to become host to a freaky mantis-like insect that alters her personality. Burns' unmistakable bold graphic style is brought to life with the use of 3D computer animation.
Next up is Marie Caillou's anime-style ghost story that sees a young Japanese girl repeatedly sedated so that she can finish a freaky dream in which she is menaced by the spirit of a samurai and several Yōkai monsters.
Story number three, by Lorenzo Mattottifrom, revolves around a small French town that is plagued by a mysterious man-eating creature which lurks in the marshes.
Richard McGuire makes excellent use of high contrast light and shadows for the final chapter, which features a traveller seeking refuge from a blizzard in an abandoned house where he is haunted by the ghosts of the previous occupant.
As a fan of bizarre movies, comic art, anthologies and animation, I was quite excited to see this weird little film, but other than demonstrating an interesting range of creative styles and techniques, I wasn't particularly impressed: the wholly unrelated segments are atmospheric but lack narrative cohesion, a severe case of style over substance. A framing narrative, in which a creepy man unleashes his vicious hounds on a series of unfortunate innocent victims has no bearing at all on the tales it bookends, while a pretentious narrator who philosophises between tales as abstract shapes morph before our eyes only serves to bore and irritate.
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