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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:

Can you see them, Sally ... hiding in the shadows. They're alive, Sally. They want you to be one of them when the lights go out. 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:

Gate of Darkness 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

The role of Alex Farnham was originally to be played by George Hamilton. See more »

Goofs

(At around 00:57:30) Mr. Farnum arrives at the house in his car. As he runs out of the car his hands are empty. He enters the house and meets Joan with a briefcase suddenly in his hand. As he starts up the staircase he sets the briefcase down on one of the lower stairs and runs up with his hands empty. When he enters Sally's bedroom the briefcase is again in his hand, and he lays it down on a trunk at the foot of the bed. 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

 
Old School Scary
25 October 2004 | by xshitzSee all my reviews

When I was a kid I watched television every day until I was absolutely saturated with popular culture. Although I was an athletic youth, I ran home each day after school to catch the afternoon movie on Detroit's ABC affiliate on Channel 7. I have never forgotten seeing the film Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, about a young couple who move into the large rambling home once owned by the woman's grandmother. Something sinister once lurked the basement, but had been sealed within the fireplace by bricks stacked four deep -- the door giving onto the ash bin had been bolted shut. Evil subdued.

However, the first thing that happens when the young couple take over the house, is the wife wants to turn this grungy dank room into her home office. And she just has to have that damned fireplace cleared out and working. An aged handy man warns her against "meddling with things you don't understand," but she doesn't heed him.

Remember, there would be no such thing as horror movies if there weren't stupid people.

Sally, the wife, managed to undo the bolt on the ash bin door. That's all the evil needs to be unleashed through the house in the form of tiny raisin-headed ghouls who look like Smurfs gone bad.

The movie hit me like a piledriver when I was eight years old. It scared the absolute shite out of me. Last night I borrowed this film from a friend, seeking to demystify it. I'm just after watching the film for the first time in twenty five years, and I have to say that this cheesy little horror knock-off still does the job. I don't think it'll keep me up tonight as it had when I was a kid, but the story's simplicity, particularly its makeshift special effects, came off quite effectively.

I've never seen the film on the shelf in a video shop. But if you do come across and are looking for a nostalgic thrill, I think Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is what you're looking for.


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