Do you fear the Batman? Or does he fear you?
The definition of the word “fan” actually comes from the word “fanatic”, which has far more dangerous connotations than its abbreviated version. Fans will often go to great lengths to prove their love and dedication for something; hell, they’ll even take massive inspiration in their own creative endeavours. Fan films are a lot like fan fiction; there’s a lot of them out there and every now and again you’ll stumble onto something that is truly amazing, but the problem is they’re buried in hundreds of thousands of terrible projects about your two favourite characters from different franchises having an awkward sexual encounter. Some filmmakers however, inject their own style and sensibilities into properties in a positive way.
Batman Origins Of Fear is one of these such short film projects that is extremely well made. Created with a strong eye for shot composition, the camera moves in for tight, claustrophobic angles more synonymous with an avant garde film than a typical Batman movie. This is a short focusing on The Joker and Scarecrow and setting the scenes for a short film saga. The performances (mostly voice work due to the camera angles), are relatively strong, although as with anything there are always small gripes, namely that Batman couldn’t have a shave.
It may seem like a small complaint, but consider that if Bruce Wayne had perfectly formed facial hair, he’d probably be a lot easier to recognize, considering his face is pasted all over Gotham, which would make it particularly difficult to maintain a secret identity. It’s a shame, as a lot of the other elements are extremely well put together.
The guys behind this also made a longer sequel that focuses on the aftermath of the predicament Batman found himself in. He’s fallen victim to The Penguin’s nefarious plot and now he’s turned the public and police against the dark knight. This is made similarly well, and the odd shot composition helps to circumvent some of the less than stellar special effects. Check it out below.