Rating: 9 out of 10 Bites
Translating directly to “fear(s) of the dark,” Peur(s) du Noir is a demonstration of the power and potential of animation in the cinematic world of horror. The French anthology focuses on darkness and the anxieties that surround it; fittingly, the entire film is black-and-white. Peur(s) du Noir successfully captures the fear and anxiety of the everyday, and brings to life the anxieties that haunt us all.
Each story in Peur(s) du Noir provides a metaphorical representation of anxiety and the power it can have over us. We see a man who becomes nothing but a literal vessel to his fears, and another man who lives in the confinement of his own internalized darkness.
In a recurring short, we hear a woman lamenting about her various fears. This starts out with simple, insignificant concerns such as the getting served usual cuisine at a “friend of a friend’s” dinner party. As time passes, her fears become bigger and more and more abstract; she worries about whether her death will be painful or sudden, she fears making poor political choices, and eventually she fears her own anxiety. Her worries become increasingly ungrounded with “what if” scenarios and hypotheticals until they eventually become nonsensical.
Peur(s) du Noir is a sufficiently disturbing, beautifully animated, and thought-provoking piece of cinema. It’s not every day that something like this emerges from the world of horror.