Primal Fear – DVD Review


Fear isnt just a way for The Scarecrow to get his jollies or for Tracey Morgan to make a quick buck. Its a basic aspect of human nature that can either save a life, or create a state of perpetual paranoia making living a life nearly impossible.

What we fear can range from the physical, such as snakes or drowning, to the esoteric, like the fear of going to Hell. Primal Fear examines many of our most prevalent fears by going into the history, psychology, and biology behind them. This show highlights not only why were afraid of certain things, but also why we should be afraid of them.

Watching shows like this make me appreciate the incredible machinery that is the human body. The complex set of events triggered by fright is amazing, especially when you think of the role evolution played in creating it. But whats even more amazing is the human capacity to fear abstract concepts like Hell, which may or may not exist. In many ways Primal Fear is less an examination of fear than a celebration of our biology.

Really, my only complaint about this show is the one that I make about most documentaries: that its not quite long enough for the subject matter. The subject of fear seems like it should take up a great deal more time than 94 minutes, but I think that this feeling has much more to do with my personality than any fault with the show itself. I suppose its just the graduate student in me. Anyway, regardless of that one minor quibble, Primal Fear is yet another fascinating documentary from The History Channel, and is definitely worth checking out.

The show was presented Fullscreen with the audio in Dolby Digital Stereo and it looks just fine with no transfer problems whatsoever.

I love the shows on channels like History and Discovery. Despite my typical desire for more information, I find them highly entertaining and informative, and Primal Fear is no exception. While I wouldnt necessarily recommend buying this DVD, I do think its worth watching. Recommended.


Northern Lights Productions presents Primal Fear. Directed by Ken Winikur. Narrated by Todd Schick. Written by Ben Avishai. Running time: 94 minutes. Rated NR. Released on DVD: January 20, 2009. Available at Amazon.