Total Film - 11/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t draws real menace from its moody visuals....Much of the creepiness here comes from the artistic license granted by the animated format."
Sight and Sound - 11/01/2008
"Each segment offers a different style of drawing....The standout comes from Richard McGuire, who manages something like a noirish Pink Panther cartoon in his tale..."
New York Times - 10/22/2008
"Shot in luminous whites, pulsing blacks and gorgeous grays, the stories explore sexual insecurity, rural superstition and sociopolitical anxieties with an inventiveness that's seldom scary but never less than mesmerizing."
Empire - 11/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "The results are individually inventive....Charles Burns' offers the best creep-out, warping a tale of possessive love into clammy bodyhorror."
Hollywood Reporter - 10/21/2008
"FEAR(S) OF THE DARK, a stylish French anthology film, represents an inventive foray into the darker realms of animation. Half a dozen directors from America and Europe contribute stories to this tasty potpourri."
As a storyteller, H.P. Lovecraft might have felt a tad shortchanged by this film's relative lack of tentacled beasts. As a literary critic, he would've delighted in the superficially stark, effectively visceral topography of FEAR(S) OF THE DARK, an animated French-language film that extends into modern media the exact anatomical lines of latent anxiety that were drawn by the supernatural-minded painters of the 19th century and burbled in the physiology known by Edgar Allan Poe. In a feat all the more remarkable by virtue of the fact that the movie is a collaborative showcase of six different drawing and animation styles, provocative in their very mutations, FEAR(S) manages to escape the seemingly inherent horror-anthology fate of adding up to an uneven tone. Rather than a campfire patchwork, it's an omnibus of inexplicable internal unease, a mounting abstract dread that resides in a collective temporal memory-mist and culminates in an extended passage of Kafkaesque isolation. Think of it as the history of fear.
Since FEAR(S)'s six contributing visual artists come from backgrounds in illustration and graphic design and were largely new to animation when they joined the project, the film lends itself to a sort of cross-media artistic appropriation, namely the retaining of the techniques of still visuals so that those techniques might take on new artistic functions and philosophies when put into motion. In one 3-D tale of insects and the strangeness of sexual encounters, comic-book crosshatchings (meant to convey, when drawn on the page, a single instance of light refraction) oftentimes remain fixed to single spots on characters' faces even as the figures move with subtle elasticity through cartoonist George Burns's bright, alienating world of thick outlines and unnaturally limited space, effectively echoing a theme of grim stagnancy.
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