Fear(s) of the Dark

Peur(s) du noir

Year: 2007
Country: France
Running time: 78 mins

Screenplay: Blutch, Charles Burns, Pierre di Sciullo, Jerry Kramsky, Richard McGuire, Michel Pirus, Romain Slocombe
Editor: Céline Kélépikas
Music: René Aubry, Boris Gronemberger, Laurent Perez Del Mar, George Van Dam
In French with English subtitles
B&W/DigiBeta/R13 violence, sex scenes, content that may disturb

Voices: Aure Atika, Arthur H, François Creton, Guillaume Depardieu, Nicole Garcia

Festivals: Rome 2007; Sundance, Rotterdam 2008

A rare omnibus film that's more than the sum of its parts, this French collection of animated shorts enlists the fevered imaginations of six gifted artists to create an inventive take on our primordial phobias of all things dark. Rhythmic and sketchy, Blutch's vignette of a Victorian marquis terrorising people with his hounds reminds us of the textural power of the pencil. Marie Caillou nods to manga with her phantasmagoric story of a Japanese schoolgirl forced to relive her shocking past at the hands of an evil shrink. Lorenzo Mattotti's segment is a beautifully atmospheric tale about the eerie disappearances in a rural village. Charles Burns' Cronenbergian romance reproduces those icky, dread-filled feelings one gets from reading his graphic novels. Perhaps the creepiest is Richard McGuire's haunted house yarn, a master class in suggestive monochrome rendering that outspooks most modern horrors. — AY 

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