Every so often a movie comes along that changes an entire genre and becomes something more than just movie, but this is not that movie. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is a remake of a 1970’s film of the same name. Guillermo Del Toro, famous for Pan’s Labyrinth, brings us this modern update along with new director Troy Nixey. The movie tells the story of a young girl named Sally that moves in with her architect father and girlfriend Kim who are remodeling an old mansion. Soon after arriving the girl opens a doorway that unleashes a group of small monsters that attempt to kidnap her and eat her teeth!
First thing I should tell you is that the movie isn’t that scary. What the movie focuses on instead is telling a good story that relies heavily on atmosphere. One of the best parts of the film is the mansion that they life in. What’s interesting is how the mansion is treated almost like a character in that with all the construction that the mansion is undertaking, it changes throughout the movie. Starting from as an old building that holds secrets to a completely renovated mansion that is more than what it seems. From a comfy lit room to a dim lit nightmare, the mansion becomes the perfect set piece. I must give credit to the director for the attention to detail in every set and the eerie coldness that the movie makes you feel.
The acting is good but nothing to write home about. Katie Holmes does a fine job playing Kim, the interior decorator and love interest. Guy Pearce does an amazing job playing a father you really want to strangle at the end of the movie and Bailee Madison does a good job playing Sally. The little creatures, which are all CG done look fantastic in the film, which is something expected when I see the name Guillermo Del Toro attached to the film.
While everything sounds good and great and the movie does a great job at being a good classic horror movie with the usual or unusual twist ending, I still have a problem with the movie that is more an issue with the genre. That problem I have stems from the utter stupidity from the characters in the film. If some little monsters try and attack you or someone you know why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to stay away from the house or at the very least be with someone at all times? Why is it that once everything is going to hell that all the characters decide to split up instead of forming a party? I mean seriously, it just pains me to believe that all these characters could be so very stupid. You know the little monsters are there but you still decide it would be a great idea to take a shower at night? Seriously?
Ok, I think my little rant is done. Overall I enjoyed the film even though I am not a big fan of horror movies and I think that if you want to see a horror film is that more creepy than scary than Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark will satisfy your needs.
By Steve Cienfuegos – Former MovieFloss writer