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29 user 12 critic

Afraid of the Dark (1991)

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A little boy, obsessed with blindness and violence, slowly gets trapped in his own delusions.

Director:

Mark Peploe
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Axel Heyst lives on a secluded island near the Dutch East Indies port of Surabaya. The year is 1913. While on personal business to the port, he visits the hotel owned by racist German ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Peploe
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Irène Jacob
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Fox ... Frank
Fanny Ardant ... Miriam
Paul McGann ... Tony Dalton
Clare Holman ... Rose
Robert Stephens ... Dan Burns
Susan Wooldridge ... Lucy Trent
David Thewlis ... Locksmith / Tom Miller
Ben Keyworth Ben Keyworth ... Lucas
Catriona MacColl ... Blind Woman
Hilary Mason ... Basement Woman
Sheila Burrell Sheila Burrell ... Meg
Star Acri Star Acri ... 1st Girl at Wedding
Niven Boyd Niven Boyd ... Ice-Cream Man
Tiffany Bryant Tiffany Bryant ... Tess
Frances Cuka Frances Cuka ... Mrs. Dalton
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Storyline

Lucas is a little boy who's going blind. The only thing that could save his eyesight is a risky eye operation that could either fix his eyes or blind him for good. Scared, lonely and half-blind, he lets his subconscious fears and desires and grim imagination run loose. He spends a lot of his time spying on people and visiting the local graveyard and the mausoleum. He starts seeing a creepy serial killer everywhere in town, who goes after blind women and stabs them in the eyes. Lucas doesn't tell anyone about this, not even his police officer father. He also starts seeing other people, who are not blind, as if they were blind. Lucas also develops an unhealthy interest in his much older stepsister, who is about to get married and leave their family home, and becomes jealous of her husband to be. Things culminate when he sees a dog he believes to be rabid, and when his pregnant mother finally gives birth to his baby sister. Can Lucas return from the brink of sanity and what, if anything,...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You can't escape what you can't see.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 January 1992 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Angst vor der Dunkelheit See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature film directing debut for Mark Peploe. See more »

Connections

References Ghostbusters (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Black Eyes
Traditional Music
Performed by David Shields
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User Reviews

 
the eyes have it==a beautifully paced, atmospheric film
16 April 2008 | by robertedwardSee all my reviews

Some viewers may be a little confused by parts of this psychological adventure, but remember that the point of view in the film is that of a small boy who is himself confused and fearful. The tension between illusion and reality is sometimes tenuous.

The strongest element in this spooky thriller is its slow-paced atmosphere. It is a quiet film exploring the confused perspective of a boy slowly going blind. Visuals are almost everything here. Abundant close-ups of the boy and the things he sees with his large, fading eyes act as visual hieroglyphs while the child moves slowly through a bizarre series of events both imagined and real. The well-chosen title says it all metaphorically.


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