Fear X - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fear X Reviews

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½ October 2, 2016
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?
September 6, 2016
A really eerie feeling through and a fine lead from John Turturro. The ending leaves a lot up to one's own interpretation.
½ June 12, 2015
The slowest moving movie I've seen. This is the first time I've written a review. I got rather irritated as how long some of the scenes lasted. It seemed to take about 5 minutes for him to walk across a yard, that's one example. I stopped watching before the end, mainly because at that time I really didn't care what happened.
½ March 21, 2015
I think many people misunderstood this movie. It doesn't want to tell you a story it just shows a bit of a story, the rest is up to you. Maybe a bit to slow sometimes, but visually brilliant. John Turturro in the lead is also remarkable.
½ February 5, 2015
Fear X is an experiment in developing style for the director or experimenting in something different from what he is used to. The film really is thickly styled but with very little story and drags the viewer along with minimal climax. The picture ends disappointingly bland. One can definitely see how the duo of Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream) and Refn as a writing team would be interesting but in the end it isn't fully realized.
½ January 10, 2015
Great movie! Fear X was shot by Stanley Kubrick collaborator Larry Smith. Brian Eno contributed to the score. Don't miss it!
½ November 5, 2014
You can see the potential in Nicolas Winding Refn and see the style that makes him the director he is, and John Turturro gives a strong performance. The film just needed more interesting things happening to keep it engaging.
August 28, 2014

Finally i've seen it, now only Bleeder is left from Refns Filmography. Dexters father is in here. Didnt liked the end. Weakest film from Refn but still a solid Thriller
½ August 7, 2014
A spooky vibe and a semi creepy film, filled with dark ambient-like music done by Brian Eno. Mysterious - slowly opening up for the viewer. Cool characters, and Turturro's performance is really good,

Some very great scenes with a perfect touch of something hidden. I like the visions and the cold atmosphere, it gives me a "Fargo"-vibe in a way - only a lot less humorus. At times it's really intense and in other moments it got an artistic mood - the balance is mighty fine.

I felt it started of very promising. The nerve was very present and vital. The opening scene is also superb. Later on it eased out, and the climax was rather disappointing. Refn is a very interesting director and I like his work. This is not his poorest film, neither is it his best, but it's worth a look.

6.5 out of 10 video tapes.
½ April 2, 2014
A surprisingly serious performance from John Turturro isn't enough to subvert the film's complete lack of tension and unsatisfying storyline.
½ January 12, 2014
Turturro is excellent is this enjoyable but flawed film.
½ November 19, 2013
WTF?? If this movie was any slower I would've turned it off which I was tempted to do. It makes you feel sedated and not in a good way. Someone called this a "snoozefest"- that's exactly what it is. There's no point, no explanation, no excitement of any kind, nothing. I was so annoyed and baffled by the lack of everything in it that I fast-forwarded through the whole thing again just to see if I missed something- I didn't.
November 9, 2013
Fear X boasts Stylish Direction from Refn and a dedicated performance from John Turturro, but suffers from very slow pacing and an awful ending
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
November 8, 2013
I don't know what this guy is so worried about, because I'd imagine it would be hard to fear anything while on X, which means ecstasy... or something else. I'm sorry, but I'm too used to the "Pusher" films to not expect this Nicolas Winding Refn film to be a harsh look at drugs, and it doesn't exactly help that this is actually the passion project of Hubert Shelby Jr., the writer of "Requiem for a Dream", even though "Requiem for a Dream" was hardly as perking as ecstasy. No, I'll tell you what doesn't help my associating this film with "Pusher": the fact that it's a thriller that is far from thrilling, and even then, at least this film has the courtesy to bore me in a language that I actually understand. That's right, Ryan Gosling fans, with this film, Refn first got his Danish derrière (Oh, wait, that's French) over here to America, and you know what, that was the time critics decided to question some of his storytelling methods, either because foreign films are much easier to forgive for their pretentiousness-I mean, "experimental artistic vision", or simply because Refn had so little of an idea on how to bring his visions to America that he decided to get John Turturro, of all people, as his lead. Hey, I like Turturro and all, but, as "Barton Fink" will tell you, he's not a big box office draw, and you need only look at this film's critical reception to realize that, because I'm not saying that this film was a commercial disaster, but it's become forgotten ever since it drove Refn's Jang Go Star company into bankruptcy and ostensibly drove Hubert Shelby, Jr. to death a year later. I don't necessarily know if this film had something to do with Shelby's death, but hey, as this film about a murder disguised as an accident taught me, not every tragedy is a freak accident or a mere coincidence. Of course, then again, this film also taught me that there are things out there that aren't quite as exciting as you might hope them to be, although I must give credit where it is due.

Working with a pricier, higher quality technical team, Nicolas Winding Refn calls in renouned cinematographer Larry Smith to assist him in delivering on nifty, stylish camera plays that often immerse as cleverly used, in spite of limitations to aesthetic value beyond stylish usage, kind of like Brian Eno's and J. Peter Schwalm's score, which isn't all that special by its own right either, but has a certain atmosphere to it that is very effective when used right. As you can imagine, Refn's plays with Eno's and Schwalm's score are generally misguided, and instead of intensifying resonance, the score is left to simply create white noise that exacerbates the near-punishingly bland atmosphere, yet the fact of the matter is that there are, in fact, moments in which style is handled in such a way that it subtly, but surely, breathes some life into substance. This cannot be accomplished as well as it is without the help of Refn, as director, because even though the experimental storytelling of this film is distancing, it feels a bit more realized than it did when it was applied to the misguided "Pusher", having a somber thoughtfulness that is sometimes effective in establishing subtle tension, maybe even resonance. On the whole, I was hardly interested in this snoozefest of a mystery "thriller", but there are moments in which I found myself genuinely invested in this layered and meditative drama, and for those moments, I give some credit to Refn for actually waking up, and even more credit to the real force behind this misguided character study. Leading man John Turtorro isn't really given much of the material to really play up intensity in this quietly intense "thriller", but that just makes the performance even more revelatory, because even though Stephen McIntyre steals the show when given the opportunity, Turtorro truly carries the film by effortlessly immerses himself in one of his handful of lead roles, capturing the fear of man endangered by the same man who made him a widower, and also allows Turtorro the opportunity to capture such other key emotions as anguish and anger. Turtorro cannot save this film, but so help him, he tries, and he goes further than anyone or anything in bringing life to this bore, which still has enough other strengths at its back to be brought to the border of true decency. Still, in the end, despite the best efforts of the onscreen and offscreen talent, the final product falls flat in way too many places, even as a character study, in spite of Turtorro's inspired performance.

Trying to underplay conventional plotting as much as it can, this film is seriously meditative upon the life of a man who we barely known anything about, and makes matters worse by portraying gradual exposition in too abstract of a fashion for you to receive the impact of the would-be remedies for characterization shortcomings that do indeed go a very long way in distancing you from a conceptually sympathetic and worthy lead. Were it not for John Turtorro's performance, the lead Harry Kane character would be almost as uncompelling as the supporting players who come and go in this oddly seriously undercooked character study, and that, alone, does some seriously damage to this effort, which ultimately says little, no matter how much it takes its sweet time to tell it, and in an offbeat manner no less. The artistic meditativeness to Refn's approach to this film may be a little more realized than it was with 1996's "Pusher", but nevertheless, this effort is even more of the very thing that ruined Refn's breakout, and even seriously threatened Refn's decent follow-up, "Bleeder", having an experimental, almost abstract, and perhaps even intentionally incoherent structure that is not only questionable, but frustrates with pretentiousness, or at least too much ambition. If there is any kind of sensation to Nicolas Winding Refn's directorial atmosphere, then it's a feeling of ambition, whose degree of charm, broken up by moments of genuine inspiration, really does do a lot to almost save this mess, but alas, the final product crumbles short under the overwhelming weight of questionable storytelling, emphasized by both the ambition that could very well have molded it, as well as pacing problems. Even for what it is, this experimental meditative piece seriously drags its feet to a relatively brief-seeming 91-minute runtime, with excessive filler and "material" that drive the final product along as unfocused - nay - monotonous. Even in Refn's and Hubert Selby Jr.'s script, this film is just so blasted limp, and from a directorial stance, Refn makes pacing problems all the worse with a meditative atmosphere which is rarely effective, primarily carrying dead air which is inspired by a quiet sobriety that distances and bores more than anything. The film feels a little less amateur than "Pusher", - a cheap debut feature for some underexperienced Dane trying to make abstract art - and it's that which brings the final product closer to decency, because many of the missteps that ruined "Pusher" feel more considerable in this superior, but still misguided effort, which has a good bit to commend, but even more to complain about as questionable "story"telling notes that ultimately send the final product crashing into mediocrity.

Once the fear has passed, just in time for nap, visual and musical style are sometimes played in an immersive fashion by highlights in a directorial performance by Nicolas Winding Refn that bring some life to the film, though not as much as John Turturro's inspired lead performance, which does about as much as anything in bring the final product to the brink of decency, which is ultimately defied by the serious underdevelopment, overambition, monotonously unfocused dragging and near-punishingly dull atmospheric dryness that back a questionable drawn non-plot concept, and drive "Fear X" into mediocrity, in spite of highlights than can't quite obscure the many shortcomings.

2.25/5 - Mediocre
August 6, 2013
There should be no arguing by now over John Turturro being an actor of great talent, range, and charisma. Be it a pedophile named Jesus, a pretentious writer named Fink, or here, in "Fear X", simply named Harry Cain--his performance is always a highlight. However, one great performer doesn't make a movie so what we're left with, from a disjointed and more-often-than-not dull script from Selby, is a visual treat and that's all, folks. By far Refn's weakest offering--does that imply . . . that . . . his movies, essentially, are nothing more than alpha males beating one another up? For with "Fear X" none of the Refn trademarks, character or narrative trademarks, are present in this is slow-burning, unsatisfying, and unoriginal disappointment.
½ August 4, 2013
fear X went nowhere. there's nothing interesting about it. by far, director Refn's worst film. its a bad film. I can live with that. nothing else to say about it.
July 20, 2013
It isn't necessarily a bad thing when a film is left with unsolved issues because audience interpretation is a key part of certain movies. However, it does become a problem if the film is slow moving, shot in a confusing manner, and hard to follow because after all the confusion the audience would generally want to know why they were confused. Withholding that from them by means of an unresolved ending will probably just cause frustration.
May 27, 2013
Nicolas Winding Refn es uno de los directores mas interesantes en la actualidad, uno que le brinda gran estilo a sus historias de violencia y crimen. Por ello "Fear X" es una cinta incomprensible en su filmografia. He aquí uno de los thrillers psicológicos mas vacíos y monótonos que he visto (con su delgada premisa deseando ser elevada por su vibra Lynchiana).
"Fear X" no tiene una mala idea ni malos actores pero es un concepto desarrollado de forma inepta sin generar tensión ni mucho menos interés en el dilema de su protagonista. Siento decir que es solo una terrible película.
½ March 26, 2013
El director Nicolas Winding Refn es mas que ambicioso: intenta emular al gran David Lynch. Gracias a la atmosfera, a una banda sonora producto de Brian Eno y a unas buenas actuaciones por parte de John Turturro, James Remar y Deborah Kara Undger casi lo logra.... Pero Lynch es el original.
June 16, 2012
There are shades of brilliance in this early Nicolas Winding Refn film, and a great performance from John Turturro, but an absolutely incomprehensible second act and a complete derailment of story brought the film down.
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