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Fear X (2005)

John Turturro , James Remar  |  NR |  DVD
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Turturro, James Remar
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: March 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00079HZQQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,801 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

When his wife is killed in a seemingly random incident, Harry, prompted by mysterious visions, journeys to discover the true circumstances surrounding her murder

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fear X is Excellent Amibent-Noir Filmaking May 26, 2005
Danish director Nicholas Winding Refn, third film "Fear X" may baffle or frustrate his viewers with his non-linear plot line and it's leisurely pacing. Indeed Refn falls short on adhering to the protocols of commercial filmaking, but he is aiming, almost entirely, for effect, rather than aiming for commerce, in "Fear X."

In this case, "Fear X" was written by renowned novelist Hurbert Selby Jr. Selby's script has minimal dialogue and it's left to John Turturro's considerable acting skills to convey the obsessive quest of a mall security guard to find out the truth behind the seemingly random shooting of his wife.

You are never completely certain, if the action on the screen is actually unfolding, or whether it's all happening in the mind of Harry Cain, Turturro's character. He frequently sees the mute ghost of his murdered wife, leading him to a sinister looking vacant house directly across the street from his own house. He eventually breaks into the house and finds a strip of photo negatives, which he believes to be the smoking gun left by his wife's murderer.

It's clear that Harry Cain is obsessed, but we wonder if he's being good detective, or if he's a delusional madman whose paranoia leads him on a groundless quixotic investigation. Cain's co-workers are concerned about his erratic behavior in the wake of his wife's death.

Perhaps the entire film is a surreal parable about moving from the first "denial stage" to fifth and final "acceptance stage" in the 5 Stages of Grief upon losing a loved one. Harry Cain exhibits all the five ritualized stages of grief and by the end of the film it's clear that he has accepted his wife's death and is ready to move on with his life.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars understated, slow-paced, and exquisitedly made May 6, 2005
This is not a film for everyone. It is quietly and methodically paced and is actually an interior (psychological) drama. It is absolutely beautiful to look at, shot by cinematographer Larry Smith who was also one of the cinematographers (secondary I believe) on Eyes Wide Shut by Kubrick and it shows. I don't understand why I haven't heard of this film before. Cinephiles should definitely find it fascinating. I bought this used on a whim as a fan of Turturro and watched it with bated breath, wasn't sure at first but came out intrigued. Upon second viewing I think it is a fascinating and exceptional film, feeling more like a Scandinavian film than American. Obvious visual overtures are made to Kubrick's The Shining and the pacing and camerawork are reminiscent of Eyes Wide Shut. If you like contemplative, (dare I say) existential filmmaking and are patient and allow for introspection and participation in watching film, check it out. It's well worth it. This should get more attention by folks who love fine film-making. If you want a traditional thriller/drama look elsewhere, you're not going to find that here. But, if you want exceptional introspective performances, beautiful editing and cinematography and a quietly paced (almost sculpted) drama on death, murder and moral culpability and understanding you'll find this a fascinating piece. Couldn't decide on 4 or 5 stars and gave it only 4 because of the standards the film sets for itself, which are incredibly high. It may, upon a third viewing, be changed to 5 stars.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle, multi-layered, requires some real thought March 28, 2006
At first viewing, this film seems, to be blunt, somewhat lame. Then you think about it. And then you realize it's absolutely not lame at all. It requires some serious mental input, but the rewards are there, definitely.

This is not a trickathon flick like Memento. It's a much more subtle work that digs into you once you get what's really going on. The core of the film is, Is what we experience "real" or is it what we THINK is real?

While it may appear initially that this question only applies to the protagonist, Harry Caine (John Turturro in an excellent performance), that's definitely not the case. The "bad guy", played by James Remar, a cop, is--if you think about it hard enough and pick up the clues--definitely experiencing the same mindset as Turturro's character. You have to put the pieces together. When you do, it's fascinating.

Harry Caine has been experiencing tremendous grief after his wife's murder. Understandably. Part--a big part--of that grief is hallucinating her presence standing next to him in the bathroom, standing just outside his house, comforting him in the bedroom. He is absolutely obsessed with finding her killer.

There is something--we don't exactly see what initially--about his next door neighbor--another cop (i.e., not James Remar's character) that leads him to break into the man's house when the owner is not there, where he finds what he thinks is a clue to his wife's death. He pursues that clue and ultimately runs into the James Remar character who may or may not have been responsible.

The viewer has to pay very careful attention to the details here; details is what this film's all about. The ending scene itself is, when you think about it, a fitting piece of the puzzle (no, I'm not giving away the ending here).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars NICOLAS WINDING REFN, OPUS 3
The influence of Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch is manifest in Nicolas Winding Refn's third film. One might say that FEAR X is a bizarre film well photographed. Read more
Published on November 29, 2011 by Daniel S.
2.0 out of 5 stars Insomnia X
"Fear X" is a surprisingly boring movie based on a novel by Hubert Selby Jr (Requiem for a Dream (Director's Cut),Last Exit to Brooklyn [VHS]) While Selby's usual themes have been... Read more
Published on May 23, 2010 by Amaranth
3.0 out of 5 stars Fear X - A Mood Movie, With More Mood Than Movie
Fear X is a movie that I can see fans of independent film being split down the middle about. There are a lot of creative and daring choices being made here, and many of them work. Read more
Published on January 30, 2009 by Mark
3.0 out of 5 stars Lynchian and Ambiguous
Many people will not like this film. It is not straight forward nor does it clean up tidy at the end. Read more
Published on November 20, 2007 by Michael R. Fine
2.0 out of 5 stars Abuses the viewer at the "end"
It started out good, and stayed good all the way to nearly the end. Oh wait, I'm sorry, I forgot, there WASN'T an end. Read more
Published on October 29, 2007 by August West
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Must-See
I came across Fear X while browsing in our local video rental place. Why haven't I heard of this movie? This is one of my favorites, an instant classic. Read more
Published on July 12, 2007 by L. Mintah
1.0 out of 5 stars Great build up---to nothing
This film was expertly made and filmed. Great tension and very dramatic acting. What ruined it for me was there was not an explanation at the end. Read more
Published on June 3, 2007 by NateMonroe
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost art
The whirl of uncertainty surrounding Fear X reminded me of Eraserhead, a David Lynch twister. Eraserhead, however, maintained a sense of 'what the heck's going on' while still... Read more
Published on December 14, 2006 by Sasha
2.0 out of 5 stars Very wierd and different
This movie was very wierd and different to me. What I was seeing was the mental breakdown of the husband who's wife was murdered. Read more
Published on December 3, 2006 by Mark
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't you just hate it when... are watching a movie, you're feeling kind of lost, almost dumb, that you don't really "get" what's going on? This is one of those movies. Read more
Published on February 20, 2006 by A. Hathi
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