28 user 14 critic

Afraid of the Dark (1991)

1:26 | Trailer
A little boy, obsessed with blindness and violence, slowly gets trapped in his own delusions.


Mark Peploe





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 ... Meg
Star Acri Star Acri ... 1st Girl at Wedding
Niven Boyd Niven Boyd ... Ice-Cream Man
Tiffany Bryant Tiffany Bryant ... Tess
Frances Cuka ... Mrs. Dalton


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


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 »

Did You Know?


Feature film directing debut for Mark Peploe. See more »


References Ghostbusters (1984) See more »


Aupres de ma blonde
Traditional Music
Performed by David Shields
See more »

User Reviews

unusual and good too, if you can accept how it rewrites itself
22 June 2005 | by FieCrierSee all my reviews

Horror movies aren't known for their logic. A killer or monster may definitively die, only to return in the sequel, or maybe even within the same movie.

Some will use tricks to go for cheap scares or disorient. Films within the film, a dream, or dreams within a dream may all seem at first to be part of the movie. Angustia AKA Anguish, for example.

Others will have events shown the way a character tells or experiences them, perhaps lies or mental illness make them different than what "really" happened. Dr. Caligari or Haute Tension come to mind.

This is all by way of saying this is one of those movies. About an hour into the videocassette (less than an hour into the movie), things change. There are some constants, while other things are completely different. This opening segment is framed by two identical shots: of a boy tapping a knitting needle against his eyeglasses.

The first part of the movie has a young boy who helps his blind mother, who attends a school for the blind. He follows and watches many of the blind people, and it turns out there is a slasher attacking some of the women, killing some of them too. He observes several likely suspects, sometimes watching through a telescope.

Whether people like the movie or not may hinge on how upset they are by how things change for the last part of the movie. Myself, I enjoyed it.

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France | UK



Release Date:

22 January 1992 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Angst vor der Dunkelheit See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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