Movie Review: Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark
Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark (2011)
Starring: Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison
Directed By: Troy Nixey
Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark is the latest film presented by the great Guillermo Del Toro. Unfortunately he is not the man behind the camera for this film (that won’t happen until Pacific Rim, which is currently filming). Despite this fact, the film still has the feeling of a Del Toro picture, even if it does fall into some horror movie cliches along on the way.
The film begins with Sally (Bailee Madison) arriving at an airport, where she meets her dad Alex (Guy Pearce), and his new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes). Unknown to her, Sally’s mom has sent her to live with her dad, who is currently remodeling the run down Blackwood Manor in Rhode Island. The house is creeptastic, but it doesn’t prevent Alex from believing that he can resell the property for his client. Sally is depressed, unhappy, and not very welcoming towards her dad’s new ladyfriend, and one day while walking around the property she discovers a basement. Of course the family investigates it, and guess what? Sally accidentally unleashes a horde of tiny, nocturnal, demonic imp like creatures called “tooth fairies”. The creatures feed off human bones and teeth (specifically children’s), and according to some folklore, they leave behind pieces of silver. The creatures then begin tormenting poor Sally, making her father and Kim believe that she has gone nuts.
Yes, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark has many of the old horror movie stand by cliches. Characters go into dark rooms by themselves, the protraganist is regarded as acting strange, and many times you wonder why Alex and Kim wouldn’t just pack up their shit and get out of the house. Despite all of this, the movie is still a very solid rental, and the ending is pretty unexpected. I also love the look of the creatures. They have a very cool style that’s unique, and they were portrayed as not only nasty creatures, but extremely intelligent as well. Some of the ways that they took out our human cast was fantastic, and very creepy.
Don’t Be Afraid Of the Dark isn’t going to go down as this generation’s The Exorcist or Poltergiest, but it’s still a pretty solid (PG-13) horror film. Troy Nixey’s camera work has just the right amount of creep factor, especially when poor Sally is taking a bath when the creatures decide to strike. It’s also apparent that Del Toro’s fingerprints are all over this film (all one has to do is look at the design of Blackwood and the creatures). Unfortunately, by the end of the film, I was wishing that Del Toro had a “Film By” credit before his name instead of “Executive Producer”.
Verdict: 2 1/2 Human Teeth out of four