Monday, November 09, 2009
Fear(s) of the Dark (Peur(s) du noir)
This French film is quite different from the rest that I've watched this season. The film contains five unique horror stories each by a different graphic artist. They are connected by some unrelated droning voice with constantly transforming animations.
First, comes a man walking several angry snarling dogs on leashes. He lets them loose one by one and grins with delight as they chase down and ravage helpless villagers. The animation is dark and wonderful. The close up movement of the dogs as they walk is astoundingly realistic.
The second is the tale of a shy man who is afraid to talk to girls. He is approached by a woman who doesn't seem to mind his awkwardness and they develop a relationship. All is well until she begins to change, but at that point it's too late for him to back out. The style of drawing here is bold and heavily lined and is well suited to the story. I'm not exactly sure why but the simplicity of the lined shading seems to compliment the main character's shy boyish behavior.
Next we are thrust into an anime style tale of a Japanese school girl being tormented by her peers. This story rather pissed me off. It was creepy and drawn well but it went nowhere. Just as it was really getting interesting...poof! Done! I hate that, at least come to some sort of conclusion. I kept thinking it might continue in another segment but it didn't.
The next tale is of country folklore. It involves the disappearances of many village folk at the hands of a legendary beast. The artist here worked with heavy shading, the rain and clouds are so amazing. The dark gray tones work so well here, drawing wise this is my favorite of the stories.
The best story content was saved for last. A man comes through a snow storm and takes shelter in a strange dark house. He explores the house with a candle which only provides a small spotlight of light in his immediate vicinity. As he continues to explore we realize this isn't a good place for him to have taken shelter. The surprise and fear of the character are just wonderful. The expression drawn into his face & movements convey all we need to know about how he's feeling. Great stuff.
So glad that I decided to rent this one. I was apprehensive due to the nature of the film and the fact that I really knew little to nothing about it. The animation itself is always engaging and the horror is apparent throughout. If you're looking for something different, this is it.