5.6/10
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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)

Trailer
0:37 | Trailer

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ON DISC
A young girl sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend believes that she has released creatures from a sealed ash pit in the basement of her new home.

Director:

Troy Nixey

Writers:

Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), Matthew Robbins (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,603 ( 352)
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Gleeson Bruce Gleeson ... Buggy Driver
Eddie Ritchard ... Housekeeper (as Edwina Ritchard)
Garry McDonald Garry McDonald ... Blackwood
Bailee Madison ... Sally
Carolyn Shakespeare-Allen Carolyn Shakespeare-Allen ... Airport Cart Driver
Katie Holmes ... Kim
Guy Pearce ... Alex
Jack Thompson ... Harris
Julia Blake ... Mrs. Underhill
David Tocci David Tocci ... Workman
Lance Drisdale Lance Drisdale ... Policeman
Nicholas Bell ... Psychiatrist
Libby Gott Libby Gott ... Nurse
James Mackay ... Librarian
Emilia Burns ... Caterer (as Emelia Burns)
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Storyline

A young girl is sent to live with her estranged father and his girlfriend at their new home. The father, Alex has plans to spruce up the home with the help of his interior decorator girlfriend, Kim. The previous owner of the home was a famous painter who mysteriously disappeared. Alex's daughter, Sally, soon discovers the cause of the painter's disappearance. Written by Jeff Mellinger

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and terror | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | Australia | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 August 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

No temas a la oscuridad See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,525,728, 28 August 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$24,042,490, 13 November 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax,FilmDistrict,Necropia See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (as Datasat Digital Sound)| SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Katie Holmes and Abbe Holmes (who provides the voice of Sally's mother) have no relation to each other. See more »

Goofs

The movie often offers close-ups of the BMW's "Rhode Island" license plate, but the numbers are red, like Massachusetts license plates. For over 15 years Rhode Island licenses plates have had blue lettering with a blue background featuring a wave graphic. See more »

Quotes

Sally: They don't like bright lights, you know, those things.
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Connections

Remake of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Kensington High
Written and Performed by Ted Nash
Courtesy of Palmetto Records and Music Supervisor Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
House of Gothicism
9 August 2011 | by alexart-1See all my reviews

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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