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Feature Film

Peur(s) du Noir & Richard McGuire

Fears of the Dark

Over the past couple years, I’ve mentioned the French animated feature Peur(s) du Noir, which is a collection of black-and-white horror tales. I finally saw the film a few weeks ago, and though I admired the effort to do something different, the overall experience was underwhelming. The themes and ideas made an attempt to be “adult,” but the quality of storytelling was lackluster and didn’t engage an adult’s mind. Part of the problem was that the filmmakers were primarily comic artists whose lack of animation training was evident, and who didn’t seem to grasp the inherent possibilities within animated filmmaking.

The notable exception was the segment directed by illustrator Richard McGuire whose piece was not only the most minimalist, but also the most intense and frightening. Graphic design historian Steven Heller recently interviewed Richard McGuire about his work on the film and it’s a good read.

There’s no word yet of a US release date for the film but here are a few related links: the official film website, a clip from McGuire’s segment, and a blog with a thoughtful review of the film by Ed Howard.