Zapruder all over again, that is to say another Blow-Up-ish thriller. Since the Kennedy assassination we did learn that a filmed image is not to be taken as a documented Truth anymore. You have to understand it, analyse it, break the code to make it speak. NWR comes late with this film hommage to a genre that Pakula masterized long ago.
After "Pusher" this movie is far too over-ambitious. In trying to assimilate stylistic elements of David Lynch's filmic language (and also using the similar but less sophisticated sound design of Brian Eno) Refn looses the grip on his own, very strong vocabulary (which he luckily restored and intensified in "Pusher" II & III). Nevertheless the film has its fascinating moments.
The influence of Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch is manifest in Nicolas Winding Refn's third film. One might say that FEAR X is a bizarre film well photographed. I liked the first part of the film focusing on John Turturro's obsessional minimum life. The last part can be forgotten. It's clearly the film of a young director who still didn't know where to go exactly. A DVD zone completists. Only.
Something went terribly wrong with making this movie. You can tell by the title of the movie which means nothing. The pacing doesn't work. Turturro is miscast. He's high energy and expressive, and it's like he's moving and talking in slow motion. Everyone's playing a scene out of Blue Velvet. I wanted to see him running down the hall with the hall on fire.
Selby Jr. and Winding Refn make such a haunting, mysterious mix! John Turturro probably gives the most understated performance you'll see in a thriller and Brain Eno complements the image with his soundscapes quite well. What does it all mean, probably nothing. Maybe that's the point to all murder.
A "murdery mystery thriller" in name only with more awkward pauses and tortured silences than most audiences can stand, much less for a genre film. John T. can out-perform most actors with his eyelids.