316 UCB, 80309-0316
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The anthology's sumptuous visuals, however, make such nagging notions largely moot, its varied chiaroscuro styles thrillingly exploiting light and dark, soft and sharp angles, and mutating perspectives. A serialized segment involving a fiendish 18th-century villain taking a stroll with his four leashed hell-hounds is marked by harsh lines and jagged shadows, while a flashback-recounted episode concerning a college student's increasingly buggy relationship with a fellow female classmate—boasting slightly unreal, three-dimensional animation—captures the unnerving excitement of initial sexual encounters. Menacing surrealism creeps into most of the film's scenarios, such as a J-horror riff that filters new-kid-in-school anxieties through warped monster nightmares.
Yet this inventive anthology most outstandingly flourishes during its final section, in which a man stumbles upon a strange abode and, with only miniscule light to guide his way, navigates a drawing room, flips through a death-obsessed family photo album and finds himself stalked by a specter. Crafting visions of unsettling, primal fear, Richard McGuire strips a familiar haunted house scenario down to its iconic imagistic basics—enveloping shadows, menacing fire, looming spirits—and in the process comes up with a macabre mini-tour de force.— Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
Fri & Sat February 20 & 21, 2009, 7:00 & 9:00, Muenzinger Auditorium
France, 2007, French, B&W, 85 min, R, 35mm (1.85:1) • official site