Unlike the usual slapped-together 'toon omnibuses, Fear(s) of the Dark, a French production, interweaves the shorts, linking the segments together thematically, and narratively.
Philadelphia's Charles Burns, he of the eminently disturbing noir graphic novel Black Hole, delivers the unsettling tale of a nerdy student whose fantasies are realized when a beautiful, beaming woman enters his life. Alas, the honeymoon is short-lived. The late Guillaume Depardieu voices the doomed young man.
Belgian artist Marie Caillou serves up a nightmare scenario of a Japanese schoolgirl tormented by fellow students, by a mad doctor, and by a samurai's ghost.
Blutch, also known as Christian Hincker, is responsible for the eerie 18th-century tableau across which a bandy-legged nobleman marches with his four snarling canines. Bad things come to those who cross the dogs' path.
Lorenzo Mattotti's shimmering charcoal drawings are applied to an old fable about a rampaging beast, and Richard McGuire's angled, shadowy illustrations bring an old and ominous house to life.
Artist Charles Burns will host a Q&A session following the 7:45 show tonight at the Ritz at the Bourse.
Contact movie critic Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or email@example.com.