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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.Read more ›
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).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 morePublished on November 29, 2011 by Daniel S.
"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 morePublished on May 23, 2010 by Amaranth
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 morePublished on January 30, 2009 by Mark
Many people will not like this film. It is not straight forward nor does it clean up tidy at the end. Read morePublished on November 20, 2007 by Michael R. Fine
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 morePublished on October 29, 2007 by August West
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 morePublished on July 12, 2007 by L. Mintah
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 morePublished on June 3, 2007 by NateMonroe
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 morePublished on December 14, 2006 by Sasha