‘Fear Itself’ Explores the Psychology of Fear

Fear Itself

Hot Docs Poster

Fear Itself 
Directed by Charlie Lyne
UK, 2015

For human beings fear is innate; it’s an ancient survival instinct hard-wired into our lizard brains. We naturally fear the dark, heights, and imagery evocative of our natural predators. While afraid, our brains fire off unpleasant shock-waves throughout our bodies, making life unbearable until we are out of harm’s way. Generally speaking, we are safe when we are unafraid but being afraid is what keeps us safe.

No other genre can illicit visceral reactions from an audience like horror; people literally cower in their seats, tremble, put their hands over their eyes, and even scream. If fear is so unpleasant, why do horror movies even exist? Director Charlie Lyne’s documentary film, Fear Itself, is interested in exploring that very question.

Fear_Itself_1

 

Fear Itself is an odd cinematic mashup; it’s a horror anthology as well an exploration of the psychology of fear. Save for the brief shots that bookend the film, Fear Itself is comprised entirely of footage from horror movies. Lyne utilizes a wide spectrum of clips, pulling from films as recent as It Follows and going all the way back to Boris Karloff’s iconic turn in 1931’s Frankenstein. What binds the footage together is a disembodied female voice that narrates the film. This narration doesn’t always directly address what’s unfolding on screen. Though the monologues are often thematically related to what’s transpiring, they also veer off into the enigmatic, sounding more like a schizophrenic’s rambling thoughts.

Lyne employs a propulsive editing style, often building to a scene’s climax before jumping to another film. This technique constantly draws the audience in, like a fish on a lure. While Fear Itself doesn’t build to jump scares, it still leaves viewers on the edge of their seat.

Fear Itself is an intriguing concept; the film earns points for using the horror genre as a tool to explore the psychology of fear. Unfortunately, the movie’s execution leaves something to be desired. The film’s flimsy narrative and art house sensibilities will prove too subversive for anyone but horror aficionados.

C_rating




Add Comment


50 CEOs Who Never Went to College (and how they managed to succeed)
10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
25 Bachelor Party Movie Ideas
People playing the clarinet
10 Different Types of Clarinets
11 Different Types of Drums
7 Different Types of Roller Coasters
A bowl of oatmeal porridge
7 Different Types of Porridge
Shots of tequila
5 Different Types of Tequila (Plus Tequila Cocktails)
Fresh kale in a bowl
10 Different Types of Kale
8 Different Types of Cantaloupes
A Man in a Suit Opening a Car’s Door
9 Different Types of Car Doors
Headlights of a black car
9 Different Types of Headlights
19 Different Types of Construction Vehicles
Fire Truck with Warm Yellow Lights
9 Different Types of Fire Trucks
54 Different Types of Sports Played (Individual and Team Sports)
15 Different Types of Goggles
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
16 Different Types of Technology
man holding smartphone with vintage case
11 Types of Cell Phone Cases and Covers to Protect Your Expensive Smartphone
Black and Red Tablet Covers
8 Types of Tablet Cases for Kids, Protection, and Convenience
Camera, lenses and other photography equipments.
45 of the Best Online Camera Stores for the Perfect Pics