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Fear X

2

John Turturro is Harry, a Wisconsin security guard who's recently lost his wife to a bullet. Obsessed with finding the killer, Harry spends his evenings trawling CCTV footage, painstakingly piecing together clues - - some real, some imagined. He's also plagued/aided by visions, dark spectacles that lead him to Montana in search of a random woman in a random photo...

Setting aside his grubby-crims-in-Copenhagen movies (Pusher, Bleeder...) to here make his English-language debut, Danish helmer Nicolas Winding Refn has also offloaded his visual dynamism. No handheld, see-sawing camera here: Fear X is a composed picture, its images muted and static, its constant menace simmering beneath a placid surface. Too muffled is not muffled enough. Which, given Harry's numbed mindset, is absolutely perfect.

Then things go horribly wrong. Refn's mundane final act fails to deliver on the dread. Hubert Selby Jr's script splutters and dies; everything is as it seems. Disappointing? Try bloody annoying.

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