Fear X (2003) - Thriller

Hohum Score



When his wife is killed in a seemingly random incident Harry (Turturro), prompted by mysterious visions, journeys to discover the true circumstances surrounding her murder.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: John Turturro, Deborah Kara Unger
Length: 91 Minutes
PG Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 34 out of 72 found boring (47.22%)

One-line Reviews (117)

They tried to be epic and gripping, and they came out as dull and boring.

Acting: 7/10 Story: 4/10 Atmosphere: 6/10 Cinematography: 6/10 Character Development: 4/10 Special Effects/Make-up: 0/10 (Nothing to note) Nudity/Sexuality: 0/10 Violence/Gore: 2/10 (very little violence, only slow tension) Dialogue: 7/10 Music: 6/10 Direction: 5/10Cheesiness: 0/10 Crappiness: 5/10Overall: 4/10This film offers almost nothing for the viewer to enjoy.

yes, there are one or two coincidences that seem a little too much, but if you just flow with it, you will enjoy it without having to know all the answers or have every loose end tied up for you..the photography is first rate, the atmosphere intense, and the acting is refreshingly real for a change....


An intriguing film that keeps the viewer guessing.

To put it bluntly the film is awfully boring and pretentious.

If you thought they were mostly pretentious crap that the director made for his own twisted viewing pleasure, then you will hate it.

Yet he also belongs to the elite here (where Tarantino is still CEO) as he has a keen understanding of pure movie making, storytelling and creating angles and unique approaches in what has turned into some sort of predictable genre by itself.

Slow but deliberately paced drama that was quite suspenseful and drew you in.

I continued to fall asleep to the boring drag of a film.

Stupid, boring totally pointless POS and waste of time!.

The movie plays out in this mind-numbing slowness of pace leaving you to question if you are simply "not getting it.

I mean this entire movie is a waste of time it goes nowhere explains nothing.

It tried to be atmospheric and dark, but it turned out as the dullest slice of dreck I've ever had the displeasure of viewing.


Fear X is one of those movies that you can easily fall asleep during, and you can wake up and still follow the story perfectly.

The director had ideas and notions of grandeur that were lost in the most slow-paced movie I've seen, followed with uninteresting and disconnected cinematic tricks...

This point is supported by a minimalist soundtrack by Brian Eno, a clever choice of settings including many dark rooms and the use of the colour red in many scenes and the slow paced acting and storytelling.

very enjoyable.

I wouldn't waste your time.

We follow Harry in his pursuit to find the murderer and getting answers in such a tense atmosphere that is nearly unbearable.

Tuturro is the only thing that even made this worth watching.

This movie was a terrible waste of time; not the soundtrack,nor the acting and directing could save what was an action-less movie,with no plot and ultimately no ending.

At some level it is worth watching just to see Wisconsin shot by Larry Smith and check out the music/sound design by Brian Eno.

The story is really interesting for a long time, but when a lot is revealed in the scene with the characters Adamson (he is some sort of police chief or judge) and Peter (and one other guy - also police), it all becomes quite inane and uninteresting.

Still, cinematically, it's on a par with Tarkovsky (who, I'm sad to say, I consider the most boring director ever).

Refn might be an obsessive perfectionist but the visual ripe beauty and subdued enigmatic thriller qualities of the first hour are breathtaking in both their simplicity and perfectionism.

the resonant emptiness and dread of the overlook hotel from "the shining" is adeptly echoed here in mall parking lots, empty houses and hotel rooms.

And filled the rest up by repeating some pretentious, simple out of plot thriller effects.

The director wanted to make an art-house thriller with suspence, but ended up with pretentious excuse for a movie.

It isn't clever film making, it isn't thrilling, its bloody boring.

I'd rather watch paint dry then ever see this aberration again, for this is probably one of the worst movies ever made.

the story line is admittedly a bit weak for all the cinematic devices around it, but with a movie this enjoyable and consistently intriguing, who cares?

Director Nicolas Refn is a natural - a master of sound and image - with an astute feel for vibe and engaging storytelling, but Fear X is pretentious way beyond its title alone, dumb when it should be smart and edgy for all the wrong reasons.

Fear X ends as a pretentious and self-conscious mess that started out like a long-lost classic and perfect thriller.

Very bland.

Incoherent, and Boring .

Psychological thriller - intriguing and suggestive.

The film starts slow, but is suspenseful and atmospheric.

the movie is slooooow, so slow.

Drawn Out .

fell asleep again, woke up and finally finished the darn thing.

Like to watch paint dry?

An hour and a half of yawn.

Saying it has a slow pace is an euphemism, a turtle on Thorazine moves faster than this.

They made my wife stop watching and go to bed, with a bored sigh.

First you gotta sit through a really slow building up story.

Absolutely astonishingly scary and suspenseful.

The conversation was probably "Hey Nicolas Winding Refn, want to make a terrible movie that will waste about 90 minutes out of everyones life?

I found it to be quite effective and genuinely intriguing up until halfway, then it became gradually apparent that there really was no cogent story.

In conclusion, this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen.

We have excruciatingly drawn out scenes and I got sick to death of John Turturro's pathetic gazes.

The start was interesting and, even if terribly slow ( I had to watch the movie in three separate days because of dozing off ), did set up an eerie atmosphere and made me personally connect with the lead.

) was very intriguing.

Why waste his talents on this empty piece of film-making?

Uninspired, boring, pretentious crap that amounts to nothing.

It's a terribly slow thriller that goes nowhere and explains nothing.


This approach is experimental and intriguing and the actors and actresses actually do a very convincing job.

I'm still sorry that nobody had told med what this movie was all about, then I could have saved myself from spending my precious time and money on this pretentious piece of c...

--Slow pace may build tension for some, but is more likely to bore most people viewing the movie.

Intriguing and very suggestive plot makes this film very interesting.

It is simply a waste of time.

Watching Nicolas Winding Refn's Fear X was a totally waste of time and money.

Like I said there are long drawn out scenes where characters just stand there and take forever to deliver their tedious lines.

The first half hour or so of the film is somewhat intriguing.

Each scene was incredibly dragged out and by the end I didn't really care if the events were real or not.

Little or no soundtrack, weird low octave background noise, slow moving and talking people, illogical behavior of the characters, this movie has it all.

It should be something like 'Journey Into Boredom'.

This film is intriguing all the way through.


I do agree with the other person here who has left a comment, this movie will be the biggest waste of one and half hours of your life.

It was about as exciting as painting my kitchen.

but nothing happened.

The slow moving and provocative beginning has you involved enough not to pop out the disc in boredom and maybe even has you sitting up on your couch so you don't actually fall asleep and miss "the point.

--Bland characters.

Pretentious effects makes my wife prefer bed.

Built up slowly and reasonably to the point of inaccurately calculated and annoying ambiguity, its deliberately failure to offer a precise conclusion, fails to offer something different or newer than the above-mentioned feature film, likewise made the intentional obscurity,pointless and the movie in every word stutters before the Lost Highway's extremely exquisite words.

If you want to waste you time and money, get this movie.

The movie dragged on, had no point, no direction, poor lighting and some red splotchy images that continued to flash on the screen with no apparent rhyme or reason.

Plot elements are revealed quite slowly, but towards the end it gets a bit more exciting.

The pace is slow enough to give you plenty of time to try to figure out what's coming, ie figure out the plot.

However, there is no plot or story.

Perhaps I thought that way because of the bland hotel that John Turturro stays in which was designed in the early seventies, and never changed—ever.

Bottom line: Fear X is the worst, most boring film I have seen in my life.

Even though nothing really happened in some scenes, the movie got me on the edge of my seat like an atmospheric horror movie.

Boring boring boring.

He lets Harry Caine(Brilliantly portrayed by John Turturro)proceed gradually forward in slow pace.

Don't waste your time trying to make sense of something senseless, there is nothing in there to bring this together and reading anything into it is entirely in your own mind.

John Turturro is sulky and boring in a thankless role.

I don't generally mind "make-it-up-yourself" endings, but this really was too abrupt and confusing.

Like the French films I mentioned, the first hour leads you to believe that it might be worth watching.

Great film from a good young director,i love the way he goes for the slow pacing of the film creating a menacing atmosphere you can feel the tension, its good to see John Turturro in a lead role for once who i think is a very good actor and was perfect for the role,also a good performance from James Remar who i am surprised is not in more films,the haunting music and strange noises all add to the tension.

I enjoy puzzles and obsessive minds, especially those that approach a task with rigour, so parts of Fear X were fascinating to me, Harry watching security tapes from the mall in which he works security (his wife was killed in the car park), Harry taking photograph screen captures from said tapes and using them for his wall of information (a wall that we never get too much of a look at) bits and pieces like this.

(Oh, the tedious longness of much of the scenes.

I found myself falling asleep during this move, and it was the middle of the day.

The cats handled themselves OK against the magpies last week in what was a terrific rehearsal for this game but at times looked slow and just their maturity got them over the line...

Don't waste your time.

Remar may have been involved in his wife's death, and he plays with the curtain of his performance wonderfully, pulling it back ever so slightly in scenes with Unger (some of his best work) and stirring up confusion while menacing Turturro.

Even with the slow pace it never becomes a dull movie because you constantly feel a certain unease.

There is no point in talking about plot holes, there is no plot, that is the surprise ending.

Only for people who are bland or people who really like dull, uninteresting films that explain little or nothing.

And that is how you watch the last half of the movie, with the conscience that it will end up going nowhere and that the director is just playing with you to gain enough time to fill up the 91 minutes.

Lots of low frequency sounds (nice), and very eerie / mysterious / intriguing.

The film is intriguing from its very opening.

This utterly pretentious film fails to tell us a story worth listening too.

Most of the scenes last way too long, without those awkward silences packed in there, this failure of a film would be about 50 minutes long.

The second dull and absurd, not to mention old hat.

It just goes nowhere slow...

Before Nicholas Winding Refn blew up into the big time with intense, stylish stuff like Bronson, Drive and Valhalla Rising, and after he made his bloody emergence into cinema with Pusher, he made another film that no one seems to remember or even even like all that much.

It's basically a 45-60 minute film stretched out into a 91 minute one by making everything go slower then it should.

This may not be the worst movie I have ever seen, that dishonor goes to Magnolia but it's certainly a waste of my time I will never retrieve: the most pointless and taken as a whole, among the most boring.

The plot just had no substance, no story, no soul.

If you are not into slow paced art house movies, you are going to waste your time.

The worst movie of my life, so much that I had to come here and say it after 14 years .

FEAR X is the type of art-house/ indie fare that is just elusive enough, and slow, to make you think you are watching something more enriching than it is.

The film deals with themes of not knowing, and open ended tragedy masked by confusion and spiraling 'what ifs'.