Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark
- Director: Troy Nixey
- Genre: Horror
- Cert: 16
- Details: US / 99mins .
- Release Date: 07/10/2011
I rarely check out trailers of upcoming movies as trailers lie and it's not the movie's fault if it doesn't turn out the I thought it would. There is excitement in the opening sequence: Nixey kicks off this horror at the turn of the 20th century where a maid is called to the creepy basement by her master, Blackwood (Garry McDonald). It's a trap: the half-mad, toothless master pins her to the ground, takes a chisel to her teeth and offers them to the demons whose whispers waft up from under the grate in the corner. As he edges closer to the grate, he pleads with the unseen shadowy beings to release his son, but is sucked underground. Nice set up, nice mood.
A slight disappointment then that after this pre-credit darkly gothic sequence the action is updated to today. Guy Pearce's architect and girlfriend Katie Holmes have bought the same house to renovate it. With them is Pearce's daughter Sally (Madison the annoying kid from Just Go With It) who now hears the same whispers. But director Nixey finds his feet again: ignored by her busy father, and snubbing the gardener's warnings, Sally follows the voices down to the basement and to that grate
Nixey is a student of del Toro and the producer's stamp (he also co-wrote the script) is all over this: the sets, which have a fairy tale funnelled through a nightmare vibe, and the look it has to be the darkest horror released in some time, squint-inducing stuff brings to mind Pan's Labyrinth. The whispers are creepy "we'll be your friends, Salleeeeeeeeee," "Come play with us, Salleeeeee," "We're very hungreeeeee." and Nixey knows that what you can't see is always scarier that what you can. The film is bathed in shadows, putting the audience in Sally's shoes she can't see into those corners and neither can we.
For as long as he can the director resists the temptation to show us the ghouls but once he does, Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark (the title doesn't work because we're told with every frame that we should) loses its mystery and spark. Once that cat is out of the bag, or the demon out of the grate as the case may be here, it doesn't recover one of the reasons for that is that the demons look a bit naff frankly.
Pearce and Holmes are fine but it's Madison that runs away with the acting accolades. Nixey puts her through the mill and Madison delivers every time, perfect at pulling the 'I'm alone and absolutely terrified' face. The whole movie rests on her shoulders and she holds our attention throughout.
Review by Gavin Burke | 09:00 | Friday 7th October 2011 | Movie Review
Don't look in the basement of this creepy old house... you might just find some nasty little critters with evil intentions. That's the premise of this Guillermo Del Toro-sponsored remake of a 70s TV movie. Even a seasoned horror fan like me admits to not having heard of the original - perhaps I need to be American and of a certain age. Still, this new version plays like a cross between a haunted house movie and Gremlins. What it most reminds me of though is the last segment of Cat's Eye, in which a tiny, nasty little troll torments a little girl. The new Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark certainly isn't for children and has some decent scares and a few shocks. It's not the best horror film of the year, but it's certainly an effective, if not entirely memorable, 98 minutes in the dark...Posted 00:20 | Sat 8th Oct 2011
I'm sorry but this movie ''the best horror'' in a long time, who ever said that CLEARLY LIED!!! I was totally bored watching this, basically balls of FLUFF running around talking killing people cutting up clothes, oh i don't know anymore!! They reminded me of a killer hamster, Pure disappointment!! But thats just me, each to your own i guess :)Posted 12:13 | Sat 8th Oct 2011
lion king is scarier, dont waste your moneyPosted 20:46 | Tue 11th Oct 2011
Good scary flick where you will spend most of the time screaming at the child "stop wandering off on your own" and at the adults "quit drugging her and putting her to bed in a dark room!"Posted 22:48 | Tue 11th Oct 2011
Not at all scary as they introduced the basement rat type things way too early, they should have left us wondering what they were for longer. Storyline wasn't good at all...instantly forgetable!Posted 21:25 | Fri 21st Oct 2011
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