Fear X Movie 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 Rating

" OK "

Rating: PG-13, LIMITED: Friday, January 28, 2005


More John Turturro

God's Pocket Movie Review

Despite a strong sense of the characters and the setting, this film struggles to engage viewers with its downbeat story about how tough life is....

See Heavily Eye-Linered Christian Bale As Moses In Ridley Scott's 'Exodus: Gods And Kings' [Trailer & Pictures]

Director Ridley Scott has dealt with some epic stories whether it's the might of the Roman Empire and the obsession with gladiators, slavering murderous aliens...

Exodus: Gods And Kings Trailer

Moses and the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses grew up together as brothers after the former was saved from drowing in the Nile. However, Moses has not...

Will John Turturro Reprise Cult Fave Jesus Quintana For Big Lewbowski Spin-Off?

Big news for Big Lebowski fans: John Turturro is seeking legal clearance to reprise the role of Jesus Quintana, a colourful bowler with a chequered...


God's Pocket Trailer

God's Pocket seems to be an ordinary working class neighbourhood at face value; full of people with ordinary jobs and ordinary families. However, a dark...

Fading Gigolo Movie Review

With a witty observational script, amusing characters and a jazzy sense of life in New York, this feels like an old-fashioned Woody Allen movie, even...

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'

Sofia Vergara has been speaking about her nerves at shooting a ménage a trois with Sharon Stone and John Turturro in Woody Allen's romantic drama...

A Week In Movies: Gravity And 12 Years A Slave Lead Oscar Nominations, Filming Goes To The Wire On Captain America 2

After the glamour of the essentially irrelevant Golden Globes on Sunday, the biggest movie news this week was the Oscar nominations announcement on Wednesday. As...