Fear(s) Of The Dark ~ (France, 2008) ~ DVD

fearsWhat happens when the collector becomes the collected? What happens to the new kid in class? Or is it all just a dream? A bad dream which a young girl has and is literally forced to see her dream through to the end, despite her fears…A man revisits the place where, as a boy, a crocodile terrorized his town, his uncle and best friend disappearing in the tragedy. These are some of the fears captured in this black and white, animated-integrated shorts collection. Most (but not all) of the animation is superior and downright creepy.

Afraid of insects? Then the first one will play upon that fear. Although you can see the shoe drop coming at an early stage, because of the drawing and animation, you’re still shocked when it happens. The closing short makes the best use of light and dark, illumination/understanding and darkness/fear. Gluing these shorts together, aside from their more or less common use of black and white drawing/animation, are sequences of musings on what we fear. These are accompanied by very simple geometric line drawings.

Christian Hincker’s animation is split up into three or four pieces, acting also as a dividing line between the short chapters. In these sequences, an ogre with a pack of vicious dogs, purposely lets one, then another loose. While the other tales are not primarily violent or bloody, these snarling beasts from Hell are particularly disturbing. Maybe heightened by the fact that they contrast so sharply with the rest of the collection. The visual of these rabid beasts ripping into and tossing humans like rag dolls are hard to shake. Who the hell is not afraid of snarling dogs with bared teeth?

Uneven in its scare factor, and somewhat spotty as graphic fiction, there are still glimpses of fascinating animation to be had.

♦♦½

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