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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)

Unrated | | Horror | TV Movie 10 October 1973
A young couple inherits an old mansion inhabited by small demon-like creatures who are determined to make the wife one of their own.

Director:

John Newland

Writer:

Nigel McKeand
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kim Darby ... Sally Farnham
Jim Hutton ... Alex Farnham
Barbara Anderson ... Joan Kahn
William Demarest ... Mr. Harris
Pedro Armendáriz Jr. ... Francisco Perez (as Pedro Armendariz Jr.)
Lesley Woods ... Ethyl
Robert Cleaves Robert Cleaves ... Doctor
Sterling Swanson Sterling Swanson ... Policeman
Joel Lawrence Joel Lawrence ... George Kahn (as J.H. Lawrence)
William Sylvester ... Tom Henderson
Don Mallon Don Mallon ... Bob
Celia Milius ... Anne (as Celia Kaye)
Elizabeth St. Clair Elizabeth St. Clair ... Party Guest
Monika Henreid Monika Henreid ... Party Guest (as Monica Henreid)
Robert Priest 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lorimar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Movielab)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nigel McKeand stated that the creatures seen are more 'lumbering' than he intended in the script; his version of the creatures were quick, thin, and more demonic. See more »

Goofs

The creatures keep changing size. During one scene, the creatures aren't much bigger than a few inches, as they hide behind the books. But, when they go outside to cut the cables, they are as tall as the trash cans. 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

Referenced in They (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sally, we want you, we want you.
8 October 2009 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

There are times in a horror fans youth that a certain film will leave an impression that will be carried forward for ever more. In my case one such film is Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. A cheaply made for TV picture starring Kim Darby, Jim Hutton and William Demarest. The plot on the surface is standard. Alex and Sally Farnham inherit a big old mansion from their deceased grandmother, it has a basement den room with a bricked up fireplace. Sally wants to unblock the fireplace but is advised that it should be left as it is by the family handyman Mr Harris. Naturally Sally goes ahead and has the fire opened up, and pretty soon she starts to hear voices and see what she thinks is little men in her midst..

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark terrified me as a child because it played on one of my basic fears, a fear that is shared by many an impressionable child. That of something being under the bed at night time, or in the cupboard, and yes, in the walls behind the fireplace. Of course now as an adult revisiting the film it has lost the power to truly terrify me. But not once since that time as a child have I not cast a nervous smile in the direction of all the open fireplaces I've come across over the years. This is something I think one should always remember when revisiting such films from your youth, the impact back then is what's important. Now to me the film is a nostalgic trip that still retains the power to prick up those goose-bumps, and with each goose bump comes back memories of believing there was such a thing as little troll like demons out to get us.

It's a cracking little chiller is this, the cast give it their all {particularly Darby} and while the effects and production are evidently low, it still carries a charm that 70s TV movies seem to carry for those that blossomed during it. Very much a cult film over the years, horror fan pressure has led to it finally getting a DVD release in August 2009. All those fans are just like me, they remembered the night that Don't Be Afraid of the Dark actually meant that we "would" be afraid of the dark. First time viewers to it now are unlikely to get much, if anything, from it. But don't mock or be scornful towards us, for we was there, and we carried with us that first chill for ever more. 8/10


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