Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)

Don't Be Afraid of the DarkDon’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Release Date: August 26, 2011

Director: Troy Nixey

Stars: Katie Holmes, Bailee Madison, Guy Pearce

Runtime: 99 min

Tagline: Fear is never just make believe

This is a lesser effort from co-screenwriter Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth), but hell – geniuses are allowed to mess up every now and then.

A young girl sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend discovers creatures in her new home who want to claim her as one of their own.

The daughter, played well by up-and-comer Bailee Madison, has layers because she’s all hyped up on medications and she feels abandoned by her mother. Her father (Guy Pearce) thinks that she’s just the little girl that cried wolf when she says little things are after her. Katie Holmes plays the girlfriend who is trying to make a good impression, and tries her very hardest to communicate with her.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark tries, it really does. The horror just isn’t good because there’s nasty teeth at times and there’s really only a few jump-scares. Sure, it can be creepy, but when the tiny villains are actually revealed – it becomes seriously laughable. I had a laughing fit at one point, it’s just so darn silly. The little things aren’t that threatening, probably because they’re just too CGI-animated and they come off as foolish. The characters really should just turn on a freaking light. Hint: when voices are calling to you from a vent, don’t answer. Idiots. The unrewarding film leads up to a questionable ending, that hardly makes sense.

The only points this will get from me is for: 1) the fact that it tried to be a little good, it just comes off as vastly below-average, 2) it tries to bring in real human emotions of abandonment and anxiety to some characters, even though the little girl is stupid as hell, and 3) if you are afraid of the dark, it might actually cure your fear, because you’ll think: “Hey… The dark isn’t so bad, all there is are those little idiots lurking around. I’ll just turn on my lamp on my bedside table. What a perfect kryptonite.”



12 thoughts on “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)

  1. You gave this movie it’s appropriate rating. The movie did try like you said. You hit on all good points here and your perspective is spot on, man. They should have stuck with the wife being the one seeing the goblins as opposed to some little girl like in the original (which a good TV movie on it’s own) The only things I felt that was worthwhile about this production was Holmes and the cinematography. The rest was just meh.

    1. Thanks, Vic 🙂 it seems that I should check out the TV movie… Holmes was pretty good. I guess the movie didn’t make a big impression on me, since I can’t remember the cinematography that well 😦

      1. It’s ok, it didn’t make an impression on many lol. It’s all good. I do wish that Holmes could make more movies these days. I really missed her in The Dark Knight.

      2. Now that she has shed Cruise, I’m sure she’ll get back in the game soon. She’s too talented to go to waste and not work anymore. On the other hand she is still a Mom and that takes precendent of course.

  2. Good review Dan. Definitely starts off very strong, but totally jumps the fuckin’ shark about half-way through once they show those weird-ass, freakin’ creatures. Pearce and Holmes do what they can, but everything just tears them down to pieces.

  3. Totally agree, I think I reviewed this on my old blog, watched it a while ago xD utter rubbish! it was definitely those little freaky monster things that made it laughable, as you say…I think I remember a bit where one yells/screams at the camera (?) I laughed out loud…although I can’t remember much I half slept through most of it!

    1. Yeah, there was a scene like that, I laughed at that too! There was one part where they a small army of them were all collectively mimicking a character, and I thought it was just the funniest thing. I don’t blame for you doing that haha!

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