In Fear(s) of the Dark, nine international graphic artists offer a different kind of extreme horror than what draws in the Saw crowd. The six-piece anthology deals in stark, highly stylized black-and-white imagery instead of heavy gore, and the result is something less horrifying than unsettling. But it's very interesting nonetheless, especially for anyone who appreciates out-of-the-box animation.
Each segment takes our fears as loose inspiration, and several embrace the supernatural. Most striking is Charles Burns' entry, a sly tale of young lust and insect invasion rendered visually without gray areas, as is his trademark.
Working mostly in washes of gray with an intense punctuation of blood red, Marie Caillou delivers another highlight - a child-centered, anime-inspired nightmare of hypodermic needles and possessive, murderous spirits.
Generally, even the more predictable entries are redeemed and made haunting by the quality of the animation, such as Blutch's tale of evil running with a pack of killer dogs and Richard McGuire's old dark house segment. And the whole thing is given a heady, sometimes comical air by interspersed contributions from Pierre Di Sciullo, which pair abstract forms with abstract fears.
"Fear(s) of the Dark"
Opens Friday at Landmark's Gateway Theater