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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
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Reviews & Ratings for
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark More at IMDbPro »

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96 out of 123 people found the following review useful:

THE PLOT HOLES! The movie was ruined by the plot holes!

1/10
Author: zadaw
8 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Actually, I would be an idiot to try and concisely review this film, I just want to list the STUPID plot holes which ruined the entire movie and literally made me yell "BOOOOOOO!" out loud in the theater once the film ended:

1. When Harris gets gang raped and assaulted by the little creatures, why the hell did the police not warrant an ACTUAL investigation to why he ended getting cut up and bloodied all across his body, having his eye punctured and a pair of scissors stabbed in his shoulder? Harris told Sally and Mrs.Underhill that it was an 'accident'

ACCIDENT MY ASS! Only the most moronic and lazy authorities would come up with that conclusion and then not investigate any further regarding the occupants of the mansion and the mansion itself (the crime scene = THE BASEMENT WHERE THE CREATURES ATTACKED THE OLD GUY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!)

2. The little chupacabra-like creatures are supposedly vulnerable to light and can't stand it. How the hell are they able to just leisurely move around the mansion FULLY LIT if they are? One of them is hiding in a flower vase in a fully lit room and it's fine. Stupid.

3. When Sally crushes one of the creatures with the bookshelf, WHY THE HELL DID NOBODY FIND THE CARCASS OF A LITTLE CREATURE???!? Quite frankly, why the hell did Sally did not tell her dad after they broke into the study room after she killed that monster and say, "Hey dumb ass, you see that little mess at the end of the bookshelf? I crushed that monster I've been trying to tell you that exists!"

But nope, she doesn't. Dumbass.

4. When Kim gets pulled into the ash pit by the creatures and supposedly dies in the film's finale, Alex and Sally return the next day to the mansion after it has been foreclosed, only for Sally to leave a picture she drew in memorial to her death.

Okay, so they didn't call the authorities informing her death? No thorough investigation was done to uncover the ash pit and basement to recover her body? They just left the mansion behind? I'd love to see the scene where Alex explains to Kim's family why and how she is missing. F**k this movie.

F**K THIS MOVIIIIIIIIEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

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151 out of 235 people found the following review useful:

House of Gothicism

8/10
Author: alexart-1 from United States
9 August 2011

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is exactly the kind of horror movie you want to hate. It's a remake, it involves a child in peril, and it contains some (and I say "some") very nasty violence. Just watch--you'll have trouble hating it.

Guillermo del Toro's new collaborative effort with first-time director Troy Nixey is, simply put, horror done right. There's a lot here that can be found in any horror movie that comes out now, but this one succeeds for relying on tone and setting rather than blood and guts. The acting from all three leads is surprisingly good, and Nixey shines as well behind the camera.

However, at the heart of the film is a ballsy story co-written by del Toro that really keeps the film stable. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is originally based on a 1973 British TV movie that has been hailed as one of the scariest movies ever made. The remake features a new main character: Sally, a child, played by Bailee Madison. Sally moves into a new Gothic mansion with her father (Guy Pearce) and a new stepmother (Katie Holmes). There, she discovers a ventilation system where she hears breathy voices calling to play with her. At first, the voices are friendly. Then, they're vicious and violent.

The violence of the movie is one of the reasons why this movie succeeds so nicely. The first scene is grisly and is, without a doubt, the reason why Don't Be Afraid of the Dark earned its R-rating rather than its intended PG-13. There isn't constant violence. In fact, there isn't even that much of it. Most of it is bloodless, but all of it is enough to make us squeamish and afraid.

Another area in which the movie excels in that respect is its design. The mansion that Nixey and del Toro chose is gorgeous. The intense lighting, which Nixey noted as "inspired by Rembrandt" in the Q&A following the film, is moody and adds to the heavy tone of the movie. The house is just creepy on its own, but it becomes creepier thanks to the creature design. Unlike what the trailer tells you, the creatures are pretty tiny. What creeped me out about them was the loud, shrill screeches they let out. It'll give you chills. Keep a keen ear and listen for del Toro, as he voices a few of the creatures.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is a very fun and very creepy horror movie experience. Though not without its flaws, it has a strong story stabilized by good characters and a surprisingly dark ending, and it's got some good acting too. It's hard not to be absorbed in the mesmerizing light pools of the mansion, and it's even harder not to be entertained. As usual in del Toro films, darkness and unseen monsters reign, and as usual, it's pretty damn unnerving.

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87 out of 121 people found the following review useful:

Not much need to be afraid of this remake

4/10
Author: inkleinedpuncture from United States
27 August 2011

Pros: beautiful scenery/sets, a few good jumps, and about 5-10 minutes of eerie atmosphere

Cons: not very scary, too much CGI'd gremlins, and a very predictable/slow plot

Conclusion: rent the original and skip this remake

The much anticipated, by me, remake of the 1973 made for TV movie of the same name left me feeling extremely disappointed. The plot was fairly simple. A young girl Sally (Bailee Madison) moves in with her father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes), into a house Alex and Kim are fixing up to sell. Soon upon arriving, adventurous Sally discovers the house has a basement and that the family is not alone. The basement's fireplace is inhabited by little CGI'd creatures that terrorize the family, especially Sally. The actors I felt all did an adequate job playing their parts, especially young Sally (Bailee Madison), who played a convincingly cynical little girl fed up with being 'sold' by her mother to live with her father. Overall the movie was very predictable and offered very few scary moments. The creatures from the original, people dressed in little goblin costumes, were sparingly showed. I think it was way more effective than the over-shown little gremlins in this movie, which looked to me like Chihuahuas that could speak. Save your money and skip this one!

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47 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Inept, clichéd, poorly edited, huge unexplained plot holes

Author: Stanley Strangelove from Portland, Oregon US
30 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is totally inept. It's one of those films where the characters behave so stupidly you can't believe it. Every scene is a horror film cliché. As for horror, there is none. Some of the scenes are so darkly lit you cannot tell what is going on and I have a feeling the cinematographer did not know what he was doing. As for the script, plot holes abound. Things happen and then are dropped. Characters pop in the movie and are never seen again. One scene will suffice. SPOILER: The grounds keeper is attacked by the creatures with screwdrivers and box cutters, he staggers up the stairs, falls face down on the floor in front of his wife and the little girl. When the husband comes home, the man's wife tells him that her husband has had an "accident". No one asks how he had an "accident" with a screwdriver stuck into his eye and a pair of scissors in his shoulder. I was really disappointed with this movie. I would say save your money.

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70 out of 111 people found the following review useful:

Nothing To Be Afraid Of

3/10
Author: Joseph Brando from NJ, USA
21 September 2011

When I first heard about the plot of the "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark" remake, I was disappointed that they decided to add the unnecessary element of a child to the story. Ironically, the portrayal of the daughter by Bailee Madison was one of the few highlights this movie had to offer. With all the creepy Gothic imagery, spiderwebs and shadows, this movie failed to create any of the suspense generated by the fairly moderate surroundings of the original. The CGI demons were absolutely ridiculous, and with complete certainty I can state that the raisin- faced-doll demons of the 40-year-old original TV movie were much creepier. Katie Holmes, although likable, must be one of the world's worst actresses, unable of conjuring up any emotion other then a perky turned up nose for all occasions. It is truly remarkable to see her constantly upstaged by the child actress in this film who forces you to believe everything she is feeling. I can only recommend this as a starter horror film for young children, or background TV while you pay your bills online - you won't miss anything.

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31 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

A real missed opportunity

Author: zoydbond from Lithuania
2 October 2011

Well. Where to start?

This is a film that starts badly, and save two relatively well executed scenes, gets worse. If you have seen the original seventies TV movie you will be sorely disappointed. What made the original frightening was the bareness of the plot, the ordinariness of the location and the bleakness of the ending. All of these elements have been removed. The story is over written, the location of overly ornate, and the ending, although quite nasty, is not as disturbing as it should have been. Add to this the frankly deplorable CGI and iffy direction. Well...

The kid is good though (that's where the 4 points comes from)

Verdict: Don't be afraid of avoiding don't be afraid of the dark

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20 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Attack of the CGI furry babies!

2/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
12 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw the trailer for Don't be afraid of the Dark a few months ago and really wanted to see it, I begged my boyfriend but as always he makes fun of the fact how much I love horror movies and didn't take me. So I had to wait for the rental and now I actually find myself thanking him that we didn't waste our money on this stupid movie. I love haunted house stories, I think since Paranormal Activity, everyone has had their eyes back on that genre of horror. So naturally comes a remake from the 70's comes along that was a haunting child horror story and let's make it the most ridicules looking thing you'll ever see in your life.

In Blackwood Manor eight-year old Sally Hurst arrives in Rhode Island to live with her father Alex and his girlfriend Kim, both restoring it to put it on the market for their client Mr. Jacoby. Sally is depressed due to her mother forcefully putting her in Alex's care. On the first night of her stay, Sally is given a carousel-styled nightlight, the melodious tune it plays awakening the creatures in the ash pit. The next day, Sally wanders the grounds and finds the hidden basement's skylight. However, one of the workman restoring the house, Mr. Harris, warns her, Alex and Kim not to venture into the basement, although they do regardless. Sally takes interest in the sealed fireplace where she hears the creatures calling her name, and follows the mysterious voices. They are now haunting her and will do anything to get her down into the dark.

Where to start with the plot holes in this movie? The creatures are supposedly scared of light yet can walk through a party where there is light everywhere and somehow they could make it under the table? Then how is it that the handy man is attacked by these creatures, getting stabbed all over the place, including the scissors in his shoulder and when the maid comes in he says he had an accident! How you explain that one? The tool box just exploded? Of course you have the cliché where the father doesn't believe his daughter despite numerous episodes of her screaming hysterically that there are things attacking her and then his girlfriend tells him to listen but that's not enough apparently.

They also show a lot of these little monsters that are just laughable, I'm sorry but they did not terrify me in the least little bit. You step on them, they're little bugs, no big deal. They don't have any super powers, they have to convince children to follow them with stupid little faces so naturally as an adult this is just stupid. They don't fly, don't hypnotize people, don't have super strength, so it's just lame. The ending didn't make any sense what so ever. The only thing I could give the film credit too is that the atmosphere was creepy. The sets were amazing and did give a good way to give little chills here and there. Also when Sally looks under her sheet to see what creeped under, that was a pretty frightening scene if it wasn't for the silly CGI effects. But it wasn't enough to save the movie sadly. I was really looking forward to this movie, but it was a total let down, it's not scary or enjoyable and honestly after I'm done writing this review I'll probably forget about this movie.

2/10

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26 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Don't be afraid of the dark.....be afraid of this movie

Author: noulie1 from Canada
29 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After seeing the very creepy and scary commercials on TV, I was finally persuaded (after much resistance) by my friends to go see this movie. I should have put up more of a fuss because after watching it, all I can say is I want that 1:45 min of my life back. The couple next to me left halfway through the movie...I should have gone with them. The most entertaining part of this film was the audience's reaction to how bad and cheesy it was. I frighten very easily but nothing about this movie is scary (unless of course you count the preview for Dream House they showed before the feature....now that scared me!!)

The movie had potential....the opening scene with the old man and the maid had me intrigued and I was looking forward to a good scare. It didn't follow through and I was left disappointed. Once they introduced the creatures the movie became laughable...literally. Every time they appeared on the screen most of the audience laughed. Their erratic behaviour and odd screaming reminded me too much of the 80's movie Gremlins....which I'm sure scared me back then....but I was also 7 at the time.

If you're looking for a movie that will chill you to the bone, do yourselves a favour and skip this one. I gave this a 2 out of 10 only because of the little girl's acting during the 'frightening' scenes. While the other actors fell way short, for the most part her fear seemed genuine.

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29 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Too Much Exposure of the Creatures

4/10
Author: hotfuzz25 from United States
29 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie looked promising from what I saw in the trailers. Little creatures running around, mainly unseen. The part in the trailer where the thing jumps at you from under the sheets, unfortunately, that's the only "jumpy" part in the movie. The rest of the movie? Well, we see the scares coming. The movie literally shows you where the creatures are in the house, and the room, before the "scary" part happens. We watch them run behind a teddy bear. They then move the bear's arms and have it say "I love you," which is what it normally says without help. Then they push it off the shelf. When the girl is taking a bath, we watch the creatures run up to the tub. We then see them on the rim of the tub walking slowly up to her, with her watching them. Eerie feeling? Slightly. Scared? Nope. Remember the first Alien movie? Remember it was scary because you didn't see the creature until the end. That's the format this movie should have followed. You saw the little things so many times, and not just their eyes. You got to see exactly what they look like standing still towards the beginning of the movie. That takes the creepiness out of whatever's stalking you. These little things use tools that are lying around as "weapons." They apparently can't hurt you with their own powers. It kind of reminds you of Puppet Master. As far as story. Very little. There isn't a "shocking" ending nor is there any kind of emotional attachment to the characters. I found myself actually praying that the little girl would end up being taken away by the little creatures. I also couldn't help but hate the father, and step-mother, because of their refusal to do anything about their daughter seeing things. When the step-mother, Katie Holmes, finally believes the little girl, she agrees that they must leave the house, but decides that it will be the next morning, because the dinner party can't be put off. This movie is only worth renting if you are planning on having a lot of people over, and adding your own dialogue.

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37 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Movie Review

Author: Raymond Melendez (staff@moviefloss.com) from United States
26 August 2011

Every so often a movie comes along that changes an entire genre and becomes something more than just movie, but this is not that movie. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is a remake of a 1970's film of the same name. Guillermo Del Toro, famous for Pan's Labyrinth, brings us this modern update along with new director Troy Nixey. The movie tells the story of a young girl named Sally that moves in with her architect father and girlfriend Kim who are remodeling an old mansion. Soon after arriving the girl opens a doorway that unleashes a group of small monsters that attempt to kidnap her and eat her teeth!

First thing I should tell you is that the movie isn't that scary. What the movie focuses on instead is telling a good story that relies heavily on atmosphere. One of the best parts of the film is the mansion that they life in. What's interesting is how the mansion is treated almost like a character in that with all the construction that the mansion is undertaking, it changes throughout the movie. Starting from as an old building that holds secrets to a completely renovated mansion that is more than what it seems. From a comfy lit room to a dim lit nightmare, the mansion becomes the perfect set piece. I must give credit to the director for the attention to detail in every set and the eerie coldness that the movie makes you feel.

The acting is good but nothing to write home about. Katie Holmes does a fine job playing Kim, the interior decorator and love interest. Guy Pearce does an amazing job playing a father you really want to strangle at the end of the movie and Bailee Madison does a good job playing Sally. The little creatures, which are all CG done look fantastic in the film, which is something expected when I see the name Guillermo Del Toro attached to the film.

While everything sounds good and great and the movie does a great job at being a good classic horror movie with the usual or unusual twist ending, I still have a problem with the movie that is more an issue with the genre. That problem I have stems from the utter stupidity from the characters in the film. If some little monsters try and attack you or someone you know why wouldn't you do everything in your power to stay away from the house or at the very least be with someone at all times? Why is it that once everything is going to hell that all the characters decide to split up instead of forming a party? I mean seriously, it just pains me to believe that all these characters could be so very stupid. You know the little monsters are there but you still decide it would be a great idea to take a shower at night? Seriously?

OK, I think my little rant is done. Overall I enjoyed the film even though I am not a big fan of horror movies and I think that if you want to see a horror film is that more creepy than scary than Don't Be Afraid of the Dark will satisfy your needs.

Written by Steve Cienfuegos for MovieFloss.com

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