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      Fear X

      PG-13 Released Jan 19, 2003 1 hr. 31 min. Mystery & Thriller List
      58% 36 Reviews Tomatometer 39% 1,000+ Ratings Audience Score Harry Caine (John Turturro) is a mild-mannered mall cop whose pregnant wife is killed in the underground parking lot where he works. It seems it may have been a contract killing, and Harry becomes obsessed with finding out the details. His investigation eventually takes him to a Montana town, where reality becomes unhinged for him, and he remains disturbingly unfazed by the wintry conditions and eccentric characters. In the end, he's not looking for revenge, just for the reason behind it all. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Mar 19 Buy Now

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      Fear X

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      Fear X

      What to Know

      Critics Consensus

      As hazy, unsettling, and fleetingly insubstantial as a dream, Fear X will lose many viewers in its ambiguities, but is partly propped up by strong work from John Turturro.

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      Audience Reviews

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      Ravenswood R Very compelling film. The camera work and quality of cinematography are superb. The story is simple and effective. John Turturro is absolutely excellent. The pacing fits the story, and they story is not unclear or confusing. The themes in this movie are complex and interconnected. Top notch film-making and a total shame this was misunderstood and maligned by so many casual observers. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 07/12/23 Full Review Audience Member Nicolas Winding Refn has been an interesting figure to observe since his inception. From his later polarizing filmmaking of Only God Forgives (2013), Valhalla Rising (2009) and The Neon Demon (2016) to his cult classics, Drive (2011), The Pusher Trilogy (96,04,05), and Bronson (2008) it's become pretty obvious that Refn is director who can tackle varying genres and has earned himself a reputation that's well earned, love him or hate him. So with such a varying director in the helm, fresh off the heels of the well acclaimed Pusher (1996), Refn diving into a film utterly antithetical, laced in trepidation would not sound right at the time, but to those of today, it seems like a risk Refn would explore. Unfortunately, it remains one of his least respected works. Some critics stating it's: pretentious, slow-burning, empty and undecided. As for most casual viewers, to put it bluntly: It has no ending. Sounds horrible, but you'd be wrong. This is a well crafted, slow-burning thriller; that often teeters on the psyche of horror and reality. Shot like a Kubrick film (pure idolization can be seen) and the influences of Lynch too are present. Like many directors whose acclaim comes to them quickly, think: Darren Aronofsky with PI (1998!Quentin Tarantino with Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994), Stanley Kubrick's The Killing (1956) and Johnathan Zurain with Little Acorns (2016), must eventually prove their worth. Tarantino would make his magnum opus 3 years later with Jackie Brown (1997), Kubrick with his worthy Paths of Glory (1957), and Zurain with his well received Portraits (2018) and Dirt (2018), each vastly different from it's predecessor. The point being Refn [to me] came full circle with this film. Refn from here on would become one of the most important directors working today. Now back to Fear X, the film from it's opening shots establishes dread, the scoring and atmosphere by Brian Eno are pretty taut throughout. Almost horror-like, and an utter labyrinthine, the film would progress on, building slowly in it's bleak, detached environment; fitting well with the main surrogate character, played by John Turturro. As a side note, it's refreshing for a 21st century film to have a film interact and showcase a main characters perception. But what makes this churn and stand out is the revelation of the mystery. Piece-by-piece we get closer and get further out as we go along. We follow, half-knowing and half-confused; the brilliance of the direction here; keeping the audience on its toes, builds it's crescendo until the (somewhat) infamous hallway scene. Along with that, John Turturro allows empathy to be earned pretty easily, as a seasoned actor should do, especially in such a crude film such as this. For many, this is where the film is ruined for them. As we would expect from a film answers, there is none to be found. Instead, it's just empty. The main character finds no solace, instead we see him slip from nothing. This is brilliance, as it showcases a hard truth to reality that often answers do not come packaged together; homogenized to those who think everyone is an idealistic in this world. Unfortunately, sometimes we will never know some truths to a mystery; dealing with that human nature - and to those lost in their own allusions. The detachment of the film is exactly why an ending such as this works effectively. Lighting/shooting aside from the hallucinations, the film's setting and atmosphere absolutely showcase how far a humans head can go when it's lost in mourning. When people cling to memories of those lost, they soon become nightmares. What we perceive is twisted, and what we demand as answers, are often not met. It is this rich human aspect which is what makes the film so effective as a thriller. Especially when Harry (Turturro) enters into the 'abandoned' house, we know it's mischievous and quiet yet the most sudden sound comes off as if this were a monster flick. The layering of mystery and the detached human Psyche is genius. Refn would go on to make superior films, as this film suffers from dragging in certain areas, especially the second act, but the maturity from a Refn in his early 20's cannot be denied. Fear X is the equivalent to a waking nightmare, when reality becomes illusion, and allusion becomes your cling to reality. Fear X is an underrated thriller that easily still ranks as one of Refn's best films. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 10/05/20 Full Review Audience Member Completely underrated by the mass majority of total idiots. This movie is a f***ing masterpiece. Watch it again. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/15/23 Full Review Audience Member Fear X: A Lynchian desent into fear and pranoia; elevated by strong elan from Refn, cinematography and grounded work from Turturro. Fear X has a haunting score, taut atmosphere, strong urgency on character, slow-burning suspence and a rather mature ending. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 06/09/20 Full Review Audience Member It's a good movie but it has no ending or closure. A lot left unexplained Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Audience Member Winding Refn does things he normally dont do, why is that? Because this is really not his style, and I can guess its far from his heart aswell. Therefore Turturro is also getting mixed up in something far from his plate? Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

      View All (36) Critics Reviews
      Nick Schager Lessons of Darkness The director captures a sense of hazy, harrowing obsession that's amplified by his immaculate camera set-ups and pans. Rated: B- Jun 15, 2011 Full Review Empire Magazine Rated: 3/5 Apr 1, 2006 Full Review Lou Lumenick New York Post A pretentious, unsatisfying and ultra-slow-moving thriller. Rated: 1.5/4 Jan 28, 2005 Full Review C.H. Newell Father Son Holy Gore Refn explores the dangerous path we find ourselves on when answers don't fit in a tiny, pre-packaged box, when our idealism runs afoul in a world not built for the idealistic. Rated: 4.5/5 May 3, 2019 Full Review Kaleem Aftab The List The pivotal moment of the film is a special effects sequence that makes Doctor Who look state of the art. Rated: 3/5 Apr 17, 2019 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Slick thriller. Rated: B- Dec 31, 2008 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Harry Caine (John Turturro) is a mild-mannered mall cop whose pregnant wife is killed in the underground parking lot where he works. It seems it may have been a contract killing, and Harry becomes obsessed with finding out the details. His investigation eventually takes him to a Montana town, where reality becomes unhinged for him, and he remains disturbingly unfazed by the wintry conditions and eccentric characters. In the end, he's not looking for revenge, just for the reason behind it all.
      Director
      Nicolas Winding Refn
      Executive Producer
      Donald C. Archbold, Joseph Newton Cohen, Gary Phillips, Kenneth D. Plummer, Nadia Redler, Mark Vennis
      Screenwriter
      Hubert Selby Jr., Nicolas Winding Refn
      Distributor
      Silver Nitrate Films
      Production Co
      Det Danske Filminstitutet [dk], Fear X Ltd.
      Rating
      PG-13 (Intense Thematic Material)
      Genre
      Mystery & Thriller
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jan 19, 2003, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jul 2, 2017
      Sound Mix
      Surround
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