Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

...a day late. Boo!

To celebrate the most cinematic of holidays, I followed up my obligatory, annual viewing of John Carpenter's 1977 classic with "Fear(s) of the Dark," IFC Films' annoyingly titled-but-eye-catching compilation of scary animated shorts from six international filmmakers (call it, the "Paris Je T'aime" of your nightmares).

Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre Disciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti, and Richard Maguire each supplies his or her own vision of terror; one political, one science-fiction-al, one primal, all rather dismal. Caillou's bit, about an Asian schoolgirl trapped in a terrible dream (above), is one of the more inventive. The best is the piece by Charles Burns, a creepy-crawly tale about humanoid bugs. There's also a nasty aristocrat walking a quartet of even nastier dogs...

"Fear(s) of the Dark" deserves kudos on the grounds that it's enriching stuff compared to, say, "Saw V." It's not very scary; on the contrary, it's usually a joy to look at. Does that mean it fails to achieve what it set out to? Nah. I've just been to one too many haunted houses to be spooked by a couple o' toons.

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