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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Blood and Roses
by Betty Jo Tucker

While watching Fear of the Dark, I couldn’t help thinking how appropriate it was to cast an actress named Rosemary Gore in the leading role. Why? Because there’s “gore” galore surrounding Alice Walker, the character she plays. This horror flick starts out with a bloody disembowelment and gets even bloodier as it goes along. Causing all the mayhem is the Black Rose Killer, a serial killer responsible for the deaths of Alice’s parents when she was seven years old. Although Alice survived the attack, she has suffered  nightmares for many years and needs psychiatric help. Will the Black Rose Killer return to finish the job? Alice thinks so. She sees him when she’s awake and in her dreams.

Clad all in black, the murderer always leaves a rose on his victims. He quietly stalks them and uses various weapons for the kill -- axes, scythes, razors, knives, etc. -- but never a gun. Most horror fans will recognize the Black Rose Killer from The Tenement, a prequel to  Fear of the Dark. Glen Baisley, who wrote, directed and produced both movies, promises a third installment (Sins of the Fathers) later this year to complete his horror trilogy about the fictitious town of Fairview Falls.

Although shot on mini DV with a predominantly volunteer cast and crew, Fear of the Dark contains enough scary moments to satisfy many horror film fanatics. Not a slick production, for sure, but it held my interest concerning what would happen to poor Alice. And it reinforced my childish need to keep at least one light on every night.  

Fear of the Dark won an award for “Best Storytelling in a Feature Narrative” at the first Annual Putnam County Film and Video Festival in New York. Released in October of 2001, it’s now available for purchase through the Light and Dark online store at Included on the VHS version are the movie trailer and “Fear of the Dark” song . The DVD comes with a bonus feature titled “Fear of the Dark: Things That Go Bump in the Night and Other Fun Stuff.”

Filmmaker Baisley obviously has a passion for making horror flicks. After completing his Fairview Falls trilogy, will he treat fans to more gory movies in the future? I’m betting on it.   

(Released by Light & Dark Productions; not rated by MPAA. Special edition DVD available beginning October 3, 2006.)       

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