Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Release Year: 2010
Director: Troy Nixey
Writers: Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), Matthew Robbins (screenplay), Nigel McKeand (1973 teleplay)
Starring: Bailee Madison, Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Jack Thompson, Julia Blake, Nicholas Bell, James Mackay, Alan Dale, Garry McDonald
A young girl is sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend in an old mansion. She discovers a hidden basement and unlocks a host of sinister creatures who are very hungry.
This 2010 remake of an original 1973 TV movie is written and produced by Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak, 2015) which always raises one’s expectation. In this case, however, high expectations are not really merited. The story is good one: a young girl unwittingly invites a host of creepy small gnomes into the house, gnomes who will not be satisfied until they get some children’s teeth to eat. At the heart of the story is a young girl played by Bailee Madison (Just Go with It, 2011) whose performance is one of the best things about the film. She has been shipped from one negletful parent to another, has been rutinely drugged by her mother to keep her quiet, and is very unhappy with her new living situation. Her father, played by Guy Pearce (The Rover, 2014), is more concerned with the house, his big restauration project which is supposed to restart his career, while the new girlfriend, played by Katie Holmes (Batman Begins, 2005) actually seems like she cares about the girl’s well-being. The film opens with a rather visually gruesome scenes, something which happens three times in the film and doesn’t seem to fit the rest of the film. In fact, the film seems unsure of what it wants to be: creeping horror, a darker Gremlins (1984), or gory horror. The film’s strength is its main character, but the lack of any real scares, uneven direction, and a poor ending that doesn’t fit what the film lead up too, makes this one you can easily skip.
The runes carved into the stone of the furnace in the basement spells out “be afraid” in the Elder Futhark system.
Picture Coyright: mis.label