Don't Be Afraid of the DarkFeature Film |
A nasty and effective chiller.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark has a lot going for it, and will please most horror fans, despite its failure to live up to the best work of Guillermo del Toro, who serves as co-writer and producer. First-time director Troy Nixey, who made his name as an illustrator, does a great job with visuals and atmosphere, but the movie lacks the rich characterizations and emotional complexity of del Toro's The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth. Young Bailee Madison acquits herself well as Sally, who is first enticed and then terrorized by the mysterious little creatures living in the basement of the creaky old mansion that her father (Guy Pearce) is spending his life savings to restore. Sally's been shunted away by her mom, and the emotional crux of the story is Sally's problematic relationship with her new stepmom, Kim (Katie Holmes). At first, she rejects Kim's tentative gestures at friendship, but once Sally recognizes the terrifying nature of what's in the house, Kim is the only one who gives her fears any credence. Sally is an odd, intensely sullen tot, and it might have been interesting if there was some ambiguity in her relationship with the house's hidden tenants. But the film does have some intensely suspenseful creeping around in the dark, surprisingly nasty shocks, and those sneaky little whispering homunculi, which are so convincing that they don't even seem computer-generated.
|Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Trailer|