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Fear(s) of the Dark (France, 2007)

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An animated, black-and-white anthology from France, Fear(s) of the Dark promises thrills and chills of a subtle and psychological nature. One of the segments is by underground comic artist Charles Burns, a guy whose cartoonish style belies a twisted sensibility. Burns’ segment, in which a strange insect finds a host inside a shy young man’s girlfriend, is definite nightmare material, and the 3D animation perfectly brings his work to life. Marie Calliou’s story about a girl who moves into a house that may be haunted by a samurai really pulls you in, but it lacks an ending. In fact, the way it was split into parts, you expect the film to come back and finish this segment right up until the credits rolled. The other recurring sequence by Pierre di Sciullo, in which a series of abstract shapes form and change while a narrator whines about all his neuroses, is just flat out annoying. Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. At 9:25 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, and 8:50 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8. Find a longer version of this review online at clevescene.com. HH

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