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How to Explain the Movie "Fear X"

“Fear X” is a film that has frustrated audiences due to the fact that, upon initial viewing, there appears to be no resolution. (Please note that reading further will spoil the plot of the movie for those who haven’t seen it). While much of it can be open to interpretation, close viewing of several key scenes can bring the viewer to the conclusion that the protagonist Harry killed his wife himself upon finding out she had an affair. This, being too much for his psyche, throws his world into chaos, sending him on a fruitless quest to find the real killer.

Watch the scenes of Harry constantly rewinding surveillance tapes. This is symbolic of Harry trying to remember the events that he has blocked out. Note his wife’s reaction in the video. Even though the audience does not see the shooter, she does. Not only does she see him, she also seems to recognize him, a cue that Harry was the culprit.

Observe the scene where Harry moves into the house across the street. In the film, he has just moved in, but the house looks like it has been lived in for quite some time. This is indicative of a skewed reality. While Harry did in fact move, it likely occurred much closer to the time of his wife’s death.

Gather clues that Harry’s wife has been unfaithful. She is pregnant for the first time after seven years with Harry. This could be an indicator that Harry is infertile, because of the large gap in time. Assuming Harry knows he is infertile, this presents him with a motive and makes a stronger case that he is the killer and the “investigation” is taking place in his head.

View the scene where the face breaks through the red membrane. The membrane appears to be in the shape of an “X,” such as at the end of a treasure hunt. Harry breaking through the membrane at the “X” is actually him realizing his biggest fear, the fear of the truth. Hence the title “Fear X.”

About the Author

Carl Carabelli has been writing in various capacities for more than 15 years. He has utilized his creative writing skills to enhance his other ventures such as financial analysis, copywriting and contributing various articles and opinion pieces. Carabelli earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Seton Hall and has worked in banking, notably commercial lending, since 2001.