Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)

Posted: September 10, 2011 by tmepost in Movies, Reviews

                                     

By David Burrola

 Genre: Horror

 Run time: 99 min

 Release: August 26, 2011

 Director: Troy Nixey

 Cast: Guy Pierce, Katie Holmes, Bailee Madison

 Rating: Matinee

A young girl is sent to live with her father in a house he is renovating for auction, with his new girlfriend. As they are settling in, the girl finds a cellar that the father didn’t know about. She unknowingly unleashes creatures that where sealed off years ago after the disappearance of the house’s original owner.

 While not directed by Guillermo Del Toro, Troy Nixey’s style is so much like his that you probably won’t even notice. This film doesn’t go for as many “jump out and scare you” moments. It actually reveals the creatures around halfway through. What they do for the rest of the movie terrifying.

The film’s start is pretty brutal, but classy enough not to show the actual act (for example:  a man is trying to get teeth to appease the creatures in his ash furnace to get his son back). As with most deals with evil beings, this offer to appease them doesn’t work and he’s taken as well (because he didn’t bring children’s teeth).

 It jumps ahead to many years later when the main protagonist, young Sally (Bailee Madison) is on a plane and headed to see her father (Guy Pierce). She’s also greeted by her dad’s new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) who tries to break the ice by giving her a teddy bear that has a voice box saying “I love you”. That goes on to make you hate any toy that can talk for the rest of your life.

The scares in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark aren’t about gore or boogey man kinds of things. It is more about that feeling you had when you were a kid, that something wrong and something was there but you couldn’t see it. Of course, with Sally’s case, they actually talk to her.

 The plot here goes on with strange things that happen after Sally after she finds the basement from the opening of the film.  The furnace in the basement has now been bolted shut. She opens it (of course) and lets out the little things that took the former owner before. From here, mischevious acts occur ;like Kim’s clothes being shredded. The blame was put on Sally because of these creatures. All the while she learns that they’re not really out to be her friend and that they just want her to come down into the basement. It is revealed later on what they are and why they want Sally.

 The build up to many of the scares are well done, and are derived from old school scriptwriting mechanics. Once the antics of the creatures are revealed this makes it more goofy than scary. The acting is also well done, and there is a surprising twist at that end that’s not incredibly stupid or heavy handed like any M. Night Shyamalan story.While this would be considered more a suspense movie a horror flick, the movie is worth watching.

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