Fear X

"Good"

Fear X Review


It's a rare movie that holds back information, allowing the audience to get inside it and ask questions about its strange universe, like Nicolas Winding Refn's "Fear X."

The film stars John Turturro as Harry Caine, a mall security guard who becomes obsessed with finding his wife's murderer, which was captured, muddy and distant, on the mall's video security system.

Like another angle on Michelangelo Antonioni's "Blow-Up," the plot follows Harry as he studies the tapes and digital pictures, looking for connections and clues. He becomes obsessed with a house across the street from his own, breaks in and finds a strip of film -- a vague clue that leads him to Montana. Once there, his crosses paths with a cop (James Remar) and his wife (Deborah Kara Unger).

The point of the film is not what happens next or how it happens, but more abstract questions, like "why?" Harry is not interested in catching his wife's killer or in getting revenge, but in simply asking why he did it. As the film builds, director Refn skillfully allows Harry to get both closer and farther away form his goal, like an optical illusion or a search for perfection in an imperfect universe.

A strange group of people came together for this story. Turturro gives an uncharacteristically internal performance, forgoing his usual tics and grandstanding for a portrait of a man who has hardened his soul. The cinematography is by Larry Smith, a former camera operator for Stanley Kubrick for the past several decades ("Barry Lyndon," "The Shining," "Eyes Wide Shut"), and his gliding, dreamlike work is unmistakably Kubrick-esque. The incredibly spare musical score is co-composed by art-music guru Brian Eno, and the screenplay was co-written by Hubert Selby Jr., that scribe of unrelenting addiction, sleaze and depression ("Last Exit to Brooklyn," "Requiem for a Dream").

Danish-born director Nicolas Winding Refn makes his English-language debut here, and if nothing else, he shows an unerring eye in selecting his talent and the restraint to make it come together.

It's difficult to explain "Fear X," not only to avoid giving the plot away, but also because so much is left up to interpretation. No doubt the film's ending will leave most viewers with a "huh?" impression, but it's a hugely intriguing experience.



Fear X

Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th April 2003

Distributed by: Moviehouse Entertainment

Production compaines: TV2 Danmark, Det Danske Filminstitut, NWR Film Productions, Nordisk Film

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 58%
Fresh: 19 Rotten: 14

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Harry, as Kate, Stephen Eric McIntyre as Phil, as Agent Lawrence, Gene Davis as Ed, as Diner Cop, Jacqueline Ramel as Claire, as Peter, as Ellen, Amanda Ooms as Prostitute, Liv Corfixen as Hotel Waitress, Frank Adamson as Adamson

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.