Thursday, 8 February 2018

"Suddenly, every horror story I'd ever heard was no longer fiction"

From Nicolas Roeg's 1973 masterpiece Don't Look Now

Interested in horror stories, or how films scare and unsettle us? Seen those "supercuts" on YouTube that splice together scenes from various horror films into five or ten minute montages?

Well, imagine a supercut made properly, by the BBC, that lasts for 88 minutes and draws on 100 years of scary and unsettling films, from all around the world. For that is essentially what Fear Itself is - an iPlayer original (which should mean it remains available, rather than disappearing after 30 days), the BBC describes Fear Itself thus:

Half-heard whispers. A creaking door. A missed step. From Vertigo to Videodrome, the scariest movies exploit our greatest – and most basic – fears.

Constructed from cinema’s most heart-stopping moments, Charlie Lyne’s film explores how filmmakers scare us – and why we let them.

A girl haunted by traumatic events takes us on a mesmerising journey through 100 years of horror cinema to uncover the fundamental nature of fear. It may change the way you watch horror movies for good.

I should add that the aforementioned girl's narration, in what I can only describe as a little fluffy clouds voice (you'll know what I mean when you hear it) only adds to the sense of unease that permeates, no, saturates the film.

Still need convincing? Here's a list of the films featured in the supercut. And okay, yes, I know that 88 minutes is quite an investment, but if you have any interest in the genre at all, its history and how it gets under our skin, this is worth the effort. Watch it here.


  1. Ooooh! Sounds like a great idea and love our description of the girl's narration. I was intrigued by the list of films included and how many I'd seen (not as many as I thought, though quite a few of the more obvious ones, and very good they were too). I think I may have mentioned it before, but my emotional response to horror films has changed as I've got older and oddly, not the way one might expect. I feel more affected by them, particularly those with a lot of menace and violence. Maybe it's just an increased sensitivity to the awfulness and fear in the world in reality. I don't know.
    Could I manage this I wonder, or would I be a gibbering wreck?!

    1. I'm pretty sure anyone can manage this. It's unsettling in places, sure, with a persistent sense of the uncanny. But gibbering wreck inducing? No, I don't think so. If you have 88 minutes spare, give this a go.

  2. Got the week off (almost) so will definitely try to fit this in.