Thursday, October 13, 2011
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Produced by Guillermo del Toro, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark” is a reimagining of the creepy 1973 made-for-TV movie (apparently the original film terrified him as a child). Guy Pearce, his girlfriend Katie Holmes and his gloomy, young daughter, Sally, move into a dilapidated New England mansion with plans to restore it to its former glory for a feature article in an architectural magazine. The looming deadline for completing the restoration means that a distracted Guy and his young GF have little time for lonely Sally who spends her days exploring the large abode alone. A chance discovery of a hidden door reveals a secret basement that has not been entered in decades. Unbeknownst to this dysfunctional family, the basement is the residence of numerous rat-like, toothy creatures and by unsealing it they are now free to cause havoc.
Yes, Tom, I have completed my auditing for the day
I watched the original 1973 TV movie last year and enjoyed it (my review is here). The director made the most of the film’s small budget and the practical effects (forced perspective of men dressed as the creatures) worked much better than the CGI counterparts in the remake. This again reminded me that there is little place for CGI in horror. This film should have been called, “Don’t be Afraid, They are only CGI Monsters”.
Don't worry I can't hurt you because I'm a cartoon
This is one of those frustrating films where the child is well aware of the danger afoot yet the adults dismiss her fear as childish nonsense even in the face of overwhelming evidence. By time they believe her it’s too late. Yawn. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is never scary for one single second. Guy Pearce looks bored out of his mind while Katie Holmes continues to act with the emotion of a Borg (what the hell happened to her?). The one saving grace is the little girl who out-acts them all.