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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)

TV Movie  -   -  Horror  -  10 October 1973 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,305 users  
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A young couple inherits an old mansion inhabited by small demon-like creatures who are determined to make the wife one of their own.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Barbara Anderson ...
Joan Kahn
...
...
Francisco Perez (as Pedro Armendariz Jr.)
Lesley Woods ...
Ethyl
Robert Cleaves ...
Sterling Swanson ...
Policeman
Joel Lawrence ...
George Kahn (as J.H. Lawrence)
...
Tom Henderson
Don Mallon ...
Bob
Celia Milius ...
Anne (as Celia Kaye)
Elizabeth St. Clair ...
Party Guest
Monika Henreid ...
Party Guest (as Monica Henreid)
Robert Priest ...
Party Guest
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Storyline

A neurotic housewife named Sally and her business exec husband move into Sally's family house, a spooky two story Victorian mansion. When Sally starts the redecorating along with her pompous decorator she comes across a locked room in the house. After arguing with the handyman who insists she should leave the room locked, she finally gets the key. But once she opens her father's old study and has the bricks from the fireplace removed, strange things begin to happen. Sally begins to see small creatures everywhere, but no one will believe her. Her husband dismisses her as neurotic and her friend thinks Sally may be losing her mind. But things take a deadly serious turn when the decorator trips at the top of the stairs and falls to his death. Sally sees a rope lying across the place where he tripped, but when she picks it up to take it, a horrifying little creature pulls it from her grasp. Is she crazy? Or has Sally released demons in the house, demons her father summoned? Written by Philip Berry <tr808@home.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of something not human See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les créatures de l'ombre  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The total time of filming, including script approval by Lorimar, casting, special effects, voice-over and exterior shots were all completed in slightly over two weeks, one of the quickest made-for-television movies ever made; this was due mainly to a writers strike that had begun just before the script was completed. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 5 mins) When the creatures cut the electric cable and plunge the house into darkness, when Joan is outside trying to get back into the house after looking at the fuse box, it's daylight out - or at least twilight. However, just a few moments earlier, when she was in the bedroom with Sally and looked out the window, it was very dark outside, clearly night time. At the same time that this action is happening, Alex is driving back to the house with Mr. Harris, and it's clearly night. But as Joan is circling the house to get in, you can see sunlight casting shadows on the house and on the ground behind her. See more »

Quotes

Creatures: [opening lines] Will she come? Do you think she will come?
First Creature: She will. You know she will.
Second Creature: But when? When?
First Creature: Very soon. It's just a matter of time. Of waiting for a while. All we have to do is bide our time. Bide our time.
[laughs]
Creatures: But it's been so long. So many years. When will she come and set us free-set us free!
First Creature: Patience! Patience! We've all the time in the world.
[laughs]
Creatures: We've all the time in the world. In the world. In the world. To set us free! In the world!
[Maniacal laughter]
See more »

Connections

Remade as Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Are you afraid?
26 July 2005 | by (Levittown, New York) – See all my reviews

Seen when I was very young, this "made for TV" movie became the vehicle which drove all my fears. These fears, once irrational, were validated one unforgettable night. Before that night, during bedtime, it was only instinct that asked my mom to leave the hall light on. After seeing this movie, I had a reason, an image, and the creepiest soundtrack to plead with her not to turn it off again! This movie plays right into those dark corners of legend. Why we don't just reach under the bed without looking first. Why, as we lay awake, closet doors need to be constantly observed... just in case! I was eight years old, and truly ripe for the scare of my life!

The movie begins with a cats meow and haunting music. The score of this movie is absolutely penetrating and perfect. This is not an overstatement. I can think of very few I would call it's equal. This music accompanies Sally (Kim Darby from True Grit) as she unwittingly, and unknowingly, sets free demons from a bricked up fireplace. They set about, slipping through the dark corners (and there's plenty of them), searching to get Sally's soul. As frightening events start to mount up, and with no support from her workaholic husband, Sally begins to doubt her sanity.

Darby has a quiet demeanor that lends itself to her rising panic. When the "creatures" do finally appear, they seem to have come straight from a casting call from hell. That...or a jar of raisins. The ending is absolutely unforgettable. "Dark" made quite an impact for it's time.

I am now 40. Don't like to have ANY lights on when I sleep. Can watch this film, or any other horror flick without strategically placing a body part to obscure the view. However, a few slight noises.....a scratch or a whisper, and my defenses still go up. The blanket is always on the ready. All because of a few film makers decided to take "TV movies" seriously. I thank them....I think.


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