Critic Reviews

56

Metascore

Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
67
Absent any qualities beyond the surface, like the history and politics that trouble Del Toro's best films, Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark is little better than a half-decent scare machine.
63
Orlando Sentinel
Entirely too literal, but it still manages to be a literally hair-raising piece of modern-style old school Gothic horror.
60
Village Voice
If the grand finale isn't as resonantly scary as the original's, maybe that's just because, try though we might, we're no longer impressionable kids.
58
Tampa Bay Times
Curled up at home with the lights off and DVD player running, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark might be passable fun. Spread over a movie screen, the film's modest ambition gets dwarfed by expectations, especially after paying for a ticket.
50
The Hollywood Reporter
The result is a scary movie that is genuinely scary in parts, although an adult can't help noticing this is set in the very worn and tattered territory of the haunted-house genre. Then when you get a glimpse of the CGI critters causing all the mayhem, the scares completely vanish.
50
Variety
Rather than trying to frighten adults, this entire R-rated exercise feels engineered to emotionally scar any younger audiences who should happen to see it -- much as the original did del Toro back in the day.
50
Boxoffice Magazine
Blame director Troy Nixey for lacking the touch, or blame the basic material which is better suited to TV - either way, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark never gets you jumping out of your seat.
42
Neither colorfully brutal nor especially fun. It's a plodding, derivative gothic potboiler: "The Shining" meets "Coraline," with a touch of "Gremlins" played (boringly) straight.
38
Slant Magazine
Does Katie Holmes's hubby get script-doctoring rights even on her own film projects? That would explain why Troy Nixey's inane Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro, at times suggests an anti-Rx PSA.
38
It just goes to show, no matter how burnished your backdrop or splendiferous your setting, if your script is crap, you're stuck with a total dud.

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