Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010) Poster

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Inept, clichéd, poorly edited, huge unexplained plot holes
StanleyStrangelove30 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is totally inept. It's one of those films where the characters behave so stupidly you can't believe it. Every scene is a horror film cliché. As for horror, there is none. Some of the scenes are so darkly lit you cannot tell what is going on and I have a feeling the cinematographer did not know what he was doing. As for the script, plot holes abound. Things happen and then are dropped. Characters pop in the movie and are never seen again. One scene will suffice. SPOILER: The grounds keeper is attacked by the creatures with screwdrivers and box cutters, he staggers up the stairs, falls face down on the floor in front of his wife and the little girl. When the husband comes home, the man's wife tells him that her husband has had an "accident". No one asks how he had an "accident" with a screwdriver stuck into his eye and a pair of scissors in his shoulder. I was really disappointed with this movie. I would say save your money.
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Not much need to be afraid of this remake
inkleinedpuncture27 August 2011
Pros: beautiful scenery/sets, a few good jumps, and about 5-10 minutes of eerie atmosphere

Cons: not very scary, too much CGI'd gremlins, and a very predictable/slow plot

Conclusion: rent the original and skip this remake

The much anticipated, by me, remake of the 1973 made for TV movie of the same name left me feeling extremely disappointed. The plot was fairly simple. A young girl Sally (Bailee Madison) moves in with her father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes), into a house Alex and Kim are fixing up to sell. Soon upon arriving, adventurous Sally discovers the house has a basement and that the family is not alone. The basement's fireplace is inhabited by little CGI'd creatures that terrorize the family, especially Sally. The actors I felt all did an adequate job playing their parts, especially young Sally (Bailee Madison), who played a convincingly cynical little girl fed up with being 'sold' by her mother to live with her father. Overall the movie was very predictable and offered very few scary moments. The creatures from the original, people dressed in little goblin costumes, were sparingly showed. I think it was way more effective than the over-shown little gremlins in this movie, which looked to me like Chihuahuas that could speak. Save your money and skip this one!
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Attack of the CGI furry babies!
Smells_Like_Cheese12 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I saw the trailer for Don't be afraid of the Dark a few months ago and really wanted to see it, I begged my boyfriend but as always he makes fun of the fact how much I love horror movies and didn't take me. So I had to wait for the rental and now I actually find myself thanking him that we didn't waste our money on this stupid movie. I love haunted house stories, I think since Paranormal Activity, everyone has had their eyes back on that genre of horror. So naturally comes a remake from the 70's comes along that was a haunting child horror story and let's make it the most ridicules looking thing you'll ever see in your life.

In Blackwood Manor eight-year old Sally Hurst arrives in Rhode Island to live with her father Alex and his girlfriend Kim, both restoring it to put it on the market for their client Mr. Jacoby. Sally is depressed due to her mother forcefully putting her in Alex's care. On the first night of her stay, Sally is given a carousel-styled nightlight, the melodious tune it plays awakening the creatures in the ash pit. The next day, Sally wanders the grounds and finds the hidden basement's skylight. However, one of the workman restoring the house, Mr. Harris, warns her, Alex and Kim not to venture into the basement, although they do regardless. Sally takes interest in the sealed fireplace where she hears the creatures calling her name, and follows the mysterious voices. They are now haunting her and will do anything to get her down into the dark.

Where to start with the plot holes in this movie? The creatures are supposedly scared of light yet can walk through a party where there is light everywhere and somehow they could make it under the table? Then how is it that the handy man is attacked by these creatures, getting stabbed all over the place, including the scissors in his shoulder and when the maid comes in he says he had an accident! How you explain that one? The tool box just exploded? Of course you have the cliché where the father doesn't believe his daughter despite numerous episodes of her screaming hysterically that there are things attacking her and then his girlfriend tells him to listen but that's not enough apparently.

They also show a lot of these little monsters that are just laughable, I'm sorry but they did not terrify me in the least little bit. You step on them, they're little bugs, no big deal. They don't have any super powers, they have to convince children to follow them with stupid little faces so naturally as an adult this is just stupid. They don't fly, don't hypnotize people, don't have super strength, so it's just lame. The ending didn't make any sense what so ever. The only thing I could give the film credit too is that the atmosphere was creepy. The sets were amazing and did give a good way to give little chills here and there. Also when Sally looks under her sheet to see what creeped under, that was a pretty frightening scene if it wasn't for the silly CGI effects. But it wasn't enough to save the movie sadly. I was really looking forward to this movie, but it was a total let down, it's not scary or enjoyable and honestly after I'm done writing this review I'll probably forget about this movie.

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A real missed opportunity
zoydbond2 October 2011
Well. Where to start?

This is a film that starts badly, and save two relatively well executed scenes, gets worse. If you have seen the original seventies TV movie you will be sorely disappointed. What made the original frightening was the bareness of the plot, the ordinariness of the location and the bleakness of the ending. All of these elements have been removed. The story is over written, the location of overly ornate, and the ending, although quite nasty, is not as disturbing as it should have been. Add to this the frankly deplorable CGI and iffy direction. Well...

The kid is good though (that's where the 4 points comes from)

Verdict: Don't be afraid of avoiding don't be afraid of the dark
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House of Gothicism
alexart-19 August 2011
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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Not good...
kels-errific5 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A funny thing happened after I watched this movie. I was with a group of people, and as soon as the movie was done, we could not help but stand together in the theatre, dissecting everything thing that went wrong with the movie. We were relentless, this movie had so many logistical problems and eye rolling moments, it was almost insulting. The story is about a young girl named Sally who basically unleashes tiny little killer fairies into a creepy mansion that is being restored by her architect father and his new girlfriend. What begins as an effective first half of a movie, ends in something while jarring, is incredibly disappointing. In one sequence, we are given an interesting scenario. Sally is trying to convince her father that the little creatures who are in the house are real, so she is given essentially three chances to do this. 1. She gets a Polaroid camera to get evidence. When she succeeds in getting a photo, the photo is snatched away from her at a dinner table by one of the fairies. 2. Rather than saying, hey look, that fairy thing is under the table, she scrambles after it into the library, where she is attacked, but manages to actually squish a creature with a book shelf. 3. Now, I don't answer to the name Sherlock Holmes, but I thought the body would be perfectly acceptable evidence. Wrong. This is just one instance of many. I love me some Guillermo del Toro, that is why it pains me that this movie fails on so many levels. After an attack on the grounds-keeper, Katie Holme's character leaves Sally to go research the creatures in a library, where, coincidentally, she is able to find out exactly what the creatures are. I hate research in horror movies, like everyone who is ever scared has to become re-affirmed scientists bent on collecting enough information so they could write an expose. Its such a cliché plot point, I can't bear it. It could have been even worse had their been a google page for these fairy things, but still the whole library scene was horrible. Every other scene had me saying to myself, really? This movie has scares, yes, but jump scares to me can be done by anyone with timing, and access to a loud orchestral screech at the right moment. This movie had little ambiance for me, everything was about cheap horror thrills that can equally be achieved by walking through Universal's Haunted House, where men in bad make up jump out at you behind the pulsing rays of a strobe light. Do I jump? Yes. Does it keep me awake at night that I jumped? No. The movie seems to tease you just a little bit with a few minutes of atmosphere, and then blows its load in a hurry suspecting we need something loud to keep us engrossed in the movie. Yes the odds were stacked against the movie from the outset, as it is a remake. But I had so much faith in Del Toro I thought if anyone could squash the remake curse, it would be him. Yes he didn't direct it, but he co-wrote the screenplay and his DNA is very present in this movie. This one, sad as it is to say, is a miss...
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This movie is a waste of time!!!!
fugi_y21 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't read everyone's review here but I did get to zadaw's review. I completely agree with everything you pointed out! Here's some of my own to add to yours...

Spoiler Alert!!

1. OK so when Sally went into the basement to unscrew the RUSTED bolts from the furnace; this is just comedy because there is no way in hell she is able to unscrew those rusted bolts! Especially with an adjustable wrench! Im guessing she's anywhere between 60-70lbs, she's going to need a whole lot more than elbow grease to unscrew those two bolts!

2. Bath scene; how the hell did those gremlins get inside the medicine cabinet? Did they magically appear inside it? Sally is smart enough to use a wrench to unscrew some bolts, and yet she doesn't have the common sense to turn the damn lights back on? Plus, did the water magically disappear from the bath tub or did she imagine taking a bath the whole time? WTF!!!

3. Dinner; did the guy sitting next to Sally not notice that something was pulling Sally's napkin from under the table? When she ran out of the dining room, everyone had their full attention on her and yet NO ONE saw the little gremlin running a few feet away from her? And when she was in the library getting harassed by these little creatures, I guess it never occurred to her to turn the damn lights on?! And yet, she knows that they hate lights! Good god!

4. 24hr sun? WTF??!! OK did anyone who was involved in making this film not notice that in almost all or maybe all (don't remember) of the scenes where Sally was sleeping or when it was taking place at night that there was daylight shining in through the windows? Take for example the last scene, it was nighttime raining with thunderstorms. The little creatures killed the power and you see a shot of the entire house in full darkness and yet, when Kate fell down the stairs and when the little creatures were dragging Sally down the stairs, did all the freaking staff fell asleep while this scene was being filmed? Someone kill me!

5. Kim falling down the stairs! C'mon, she fell down a few flight of stairs and yet she couldn't move and passed out? Ridiculous, I've fallen 10ft from a tree with only grass to break my fall and I got up and walked away fine! Oh wait, that's not all, she was WALKING down the stairs, there is no way in hell that piece of wire is going to make a cut that deep nor should it have, and to make matters worse she was wearing a pair of jeans! The worst thing that could've happen was this, she tripped, fell, used her hands to break her fall, rolled down the stairs, got up! Wow!

6. Rushing to get out; OK so WTF??!! Both Kim and Alex knew Sally was in trouble, and what was the first thing you see them grab? LOL! No, not Sally but a pillow and blanket! Wow, the kid is in danger, yet the pillow and a blanket seems to be of more importance to them!

7. The little creatures were struggling to drag Sally (remember 60-70lbs) into the basement, yet when Kim cut Sally loose from the rope, did the rope magically wrap around Kim's injured leg? And did the little creatures somehow magically got super little creature strength and manage to break her leg while the rope was magically wrapped around it? Causing her to be dragged into the furnace? Oh wait, and here's what kills me, when Alex rushed down the flight of stairs into the furnace, he as a full view of what was taking place below, and yet, when he rushed below how the hell did he not notice that Kim was in the furnace? This move is totally worthless!

If you guys want to see some real horror movies check out Insidious, Lake Mungo, or Grave Encounters, any of those are a million times better than this piece of junk!
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Nothing To Be Afraid Of
josephbrando21 September 2011
When I first heard about the plot of the "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark" remake, I was disappointed that they decided to add the unnecessary element of a child to the story. Ironically, the portrayal of the daughter by Bailee Madison was one of the few highlights this movie had to offer. With all the creepy Gothic imagery, spiderwebs and shadows, this movie failed to create any of the suspense generated by the fairly moderate surroundings of the original. The CGI demons were absolutely ridiculous, and with complete certainty I can state that the raisin- faced-doll demons of the 40-year-old original TV movie were much creepier. Katie Holmes, although likable, must be one of the world's worst actresses, unable of conjuring up any emotion other then a perky turned up nose for all occasions. It is truly remarkable to see her constantly upstaged by the child actress in this film who forces you to believe everything she is feeling. I can only recommend this as a starter horror film for young children, or background TV while you pay your bills online - you won't miss anything.
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Don't be afraid of the afraid of this movie
noulie129 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
After seeing the very creepy and scary commercials on TV, I was finally persuaded (after much resistance) by my friends to go see this movie. I should have put up more of a fuss because after watching it, all I can say is I want that 1:45 min of my life back. The couple next to me left halfway through the movie...I should have gone with them. The most entertaining part of this film was the audience's reaction to how bad and cheesy it was. I frighten very easily but nothing about this movie is scary (unless of course you count the preview for Dream House they showed before the that scared me!!)

The movie had potential....the opening scene with the old man and the maid had me intrigued and I was looking forward to a good scare. It didn't follow through and I was left disappointed. Once they introduced the creatures the movie became laughable...literally. Every time they appeared on the screen most of the audience laughed. Their erratic behaviour and odd screaming reminded me too much of the 80's movie Gremlins....which I'm sure scared me back then....but I was also 7 at the time.

If you're looking for a movie that will chill you to the bone, do yourselves a favour and skip this one. I gave this a 2 out of 10 only because of the little girl's acting during the 'frightening' scenes. While the other actors fell way short, for the most part her fear seemed genuine.
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All beauty and no brains
CrazyCurlsChica3 September 2011
The scenery of the film is breath-taking. The house is exquisite, and as always, del Toro does an immaculate job creating an ominous and foreboding mood. The scares in this movie are well thought out and are not the cheap thrills Hollywood has come to depend on, and the film did a good job building momentum.

However, that being said, the plot and its lack of logicality stop the film dead in its tracks. The stupidity of the film goes beyond the typical, "No, don't go in there!" that one typically expects in a horror film. The ridiculousness of the characters' actions makes this film frustrating and near impossible to appreciate.

I saw this film because I love "haunted house" films, I'm an old Katie Holmes fan from her Dawson's Creek Days, and I think Bailee Madison is adorable, and therefore, I'm awarding one point for each redeeming quality in the movie - 1) awesome scenery, 2) Katie Holmes, and 3) Bailee Madison.
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Too Much Exposure of the Creatures
hotfuzz2529 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This movie looked promising from what I saw in the trailers. Little creatures running around, mainly unseen. The part in the trailer where the thing jumps at you from under the sheets, unfortunately, that's the only "jumpy" part in the movie. The rest of the movie? Well, we see the scares coming. The movie literally shows you where the creatures are in the house, and the room, before the "scary" part happens. We watch them run behind a teddy bear. They then move the bear's arms and have it say "I love you," which is what it normally says without help. Then they push it off the shelf. When the girl is taking a bath, we watch the creatures run up to the tub. We then see them on the rim of the tub walking slowly up to her, with her watching them. Eerie feeling? Slightly. Scared? Nope. Remember the first Alien movie? Remember it was scary because you didn't see the creature until the end. That's the format this movie should have followed. You saw the little things so many times, and not just their eyes. You got to see exactly what they look like standing still towards the beginning of the movie. That takes the creepiness out of whatever's stalking you. These little things use tools that are lying around as "weapons." They apparently can't hurt you with their own powers. It kind of reminds you of Puppet Master. As far as story. Very little. There isn't a "shocking" ending nor is there any kind of emotional attachment to the characters. I found myself actually praying that the little girl would end up being taken away by the little creatures. I also couldn't help but hate the father, and step-mother, because of their refusal to do anything about their daughter seeing things. When the step-mother, Katie Holmes, finally believes the little girl, she agrees that they must leave the house, but decides that it will be the next morning, because the dinner party can't be put off. This movie is only worth renting if you are planning on having a lot of people over, and adding your own dialogue.
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An unfulfilled promise
susiehu7 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Two unforgivable flaws: the characters all behaved stupidly, and it wasn't scary.

The handyman wanders around looking terrified but won't say a word. The little girl is constantly looking down dark holes and under her bed when she hears scary noises. The dad doesn't believe anything she says for most of the movie. Even after he does believe what she says, he still leaves her alone in bed while he gets ready to flee from the evil (fill-in-the-blanks).

This film reminds me of early Dracula movies, where the fair maiden was always warned not to remove her crucifix because evil is afoot in the countryside. In the next scene, she's sitting at her dressing table brushing her hair, and she takes off the crucifix and drapes it on the mirror. And then -- shock! -- a vampire comes in the window.

Loved the Gothic cinematography, but the camera work and film editing gave too much away.

Sigh . . . another one with potential bites the dust.
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Soon descends into CGI nonsense
Leofwine_draca15 October 2013
The idea behind DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK has potential. It's a remake of one of those classic 1970s TV horrors with Guillermo del Toro as one of the scriptwriters, no less. It starts off with potential, featuring a leading role from Guy Pearce (always a favourite) and some great set design and dressing in the form of a huge, crumbling old mansion complete with hidden rooms and passageways.

And slowly, bit by bit, the potential ebbs away, leaving this a soulless and artificial experience. It ends up being overexposed and under-written, a jumble of pointless scare sequences and endless CGI nonsense as the inhabitants of the household are repeatedly put at the mercy of some unwelcome critters. In some ways it's like a modern day GREMLINS, and it has a very childish feel to it despite the adult rating. There are parallels to other del Toro fare like PAN'S LABYRINTH but this is nowhere near that kind of calibre. The only thing it makes me want to do is track down the original.

The film I most likened it to was, in fact, an obscure early '90s B-movie called LITTLE DEVILS: THE BIRTH, which was much better in terms of pure, unashamed fun - the effects were better too. DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK is just lazy, with cheesy CGI and only one good scare all the way through. Finally, the cast is underwhelming: Pearce is a sleepwalker, Katie Holmes embarrassed, and Bailee Madison once of the most irritating child actors I've seen in a while. Still, at least Pearce got to team up with NEIGHBOURS' Alan Dale (aka Jim Robinson) for a couple of scenes...
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Don't be afraid that you spent money on this piece of ....
moochisaurus2 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was actually more of a sedative then a horror movie...

I was excited to check the movie: the trailer looked really freaky and the cast spot on and knowing that Guillermo del Toro from Pan's Labyrinth was almost like xmas day !

HOWEVER... All that was a big fat disappointment: long, boring (even when there's ¨action¨), full of incoherences and plot holes.


  • It was just one plot hole after the other (listed beautifully by another user): there never is any police investigation even if there is obviously a case of: intrusion/murder/kidnapping. When katie's character goes missing (=she sacrifices herself to save the little girl) by letting the goblins take her in their lair, it seems like no one cares as there is no police investigation to organize an excavation in the hole to find out if she's dead and where are her remains. when the boyfriend and his daughter go back to the house, they don't even look that sad but more like "better you than me/my daughter b*tch": maybe they were happy that the movie was finally over...

  • The little girl was getting quite annoying... the actress was actually okay... but i wasn't feeling much sympathy for her character. katie should have just let those little creatures take the snotty girl away.

  • The little creepy creatures: i thought the cgi was actually alright. But for 1 hour were obsessing about taking the little girl and apparently had a "Children-Only" policy, but in the end settle for the adult: why???! the creatures should have just taken over the whole household with the adults and all. would have been easypeasy and this movie would have been over in no time.

Basically it was like there was no point to any of it. Certainly no point in watching.
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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Movie Review
staff-577-37888226 August 2011
Every so often a movie comes along that changes an entire genre and becomes something more than just movie, but this is not that movie. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is a remake of a 1970's film of the same name. Guillermo Del Toro, famous for Pan's Labyrinth, brings us this modern update along with new director Troy Nixey. The movie tells the story of a young girl named Sally that moves in with her architect father and girlfriend Kim who are remodeling an old mansion. Soon after arriving the girl opens a doorway that unleashes a group of small monsters that attempt to kidnap her and eat her teeth!

First thing I should tell you is that the movie isn't that scary. What the movie focuses on instead is telling a good story that relies heavily on atmosphere. One of the best parts of the film is the mansion that they life in. What's interesting is how the mansion is treated almost like a character in that with all the construction that the mansion is undertaking, it changes throughout the movie. Starting from as an old building that holds secrets to a completely renovated mansion that is more than what it seems. From a comfy lit room to a dim lit nightmare, the mansion becomes the perfect set piece. I must give credit to the director for the attention to detail in every set and the eerie coldness that the movie makes you feel.

The acting is good but nothing to write home about. Katie Holmes does a fine job playing Kim, the interior decorator and love interest. Guy Pearce does an amazing job playing a father you really want to strangle at the end of the movie and Bailee Madison does a good job playing Sally. The little creatures, which are all CG done look fantastic in the film, which is something expected when I see the name Guillermo Del Toro attached to the film.

While everything sounds good and great and the movie does a great job at being a good classic horror movie with the usual or unusual twist ending, I still have a problem with the movie that is more an issue with the genre. That problem I have stems from the utter stupidity from the characters in the film. If some little monsters try and attack you or someone you know why wouldn't you do everything in your power to stay away from the house or at the very least be with someone at all times? Why is it that once everything is going to hell that all the characters decide to split up instead of forming a party? I mean seriously, it just pains me to believe that all these characters could be so very stupid. You know the little monsters are there but you still decide it would be a great idea to take a shower at night? Seriously?

OK, I think my little rant is done. Overall I enjoyed the film even though I am not a big fan of horror movies and I think that if you want to see a horror film is that more creepy than scary than Don't Be Afraid of the Dark will satisfy your needs.

Written by Steve Cienfuegos for
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Absolute sh**t
taynurse11 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
OMG what utter rubbish!!!! Please don't waste your hard earned pennies on this drivel. There's a plot...but there are holes in it the size of a planet!!! For example the finale shows the step mother (Katie Holmes) being dragged into an ash pit by some little furry creatures and what do they do??? They leave her trying to save her...nothing! Mind you, given her sub-standard acting it's probably the best thing that could have happened to her! After watching this film I really wished there was an ash pit to chuck all of them...including the director! I can honestly say I haven't seen anything this bad for a long time
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Don't be afraid to skip this stinker
mamanoooooooo29 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I love horror movies and was so happy they were remaking this classic from the 70's. But I should have been happy with the original because this movie sucked...sorry don't know how else to explain what a horrible remake this was. Del Toro, what happened?...Okay a young girl, her father and father's girlfriend move into a house belonging to a famous nature artist who is now deceased. At the beginning of the movie there is a flashback and we see the said Artist and how he meets his untimely demised--down in the basement raspy voices who want teeth pull him inside a hole in wall because he couldn't find children's teeth. The maid's will not do. Anyhow now we are in present time and this new family is in the house and the little girl has issues because you know, no one wants her--her mother "sent her to live with her father" she starts looking around and discovers the basement that had been covered up. She hears the raspy voices in a vent that has been seal with bolts, she opens the vent-she really goes to work with those tool, and lets out the creatures(fairies who made a pact with some King long time ago)END OF STORY...

Really there is nothing else to tell, after the initial discovery of the bad ass little fairies there is nothing else worth watching-Yea in the end Katie meets the same fate as the famous Artist but that's it...And Guy Pierce really needs a sandwich.
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Don't Be Afraid of the Computer Generated Minions of the Anti-Christ
anthonyadamo12 July 2012
At first, I thought this movie was directed by Guillermo Del Toro, and it disappointed me that it wasn't. I did see a lot of the influence he had on Troy Nixey with his camera-work, framing and look of the picture. I did not like the movie though. It wasn't scary, it wasn't interesting, it didn't keep me on the edge of my seat, etc. It tied-in every cliché horror movie story point, from: moving into a creepy new old house, neglectful father, his new girlfriend, a misplaced child who sees things, the people don't believe her until it's too late, the people that live there that know what's going on but don't say give me a break. And Del Toro was nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay on Pan's Labyrinth, so you'd think the story would be a little deeper. How is anyone supposed to be scared of these "rat demons"? The visual effects were horrible, the story was stupid, and the only reason I'm not failing this move is because I like Del Toro, Holmes and Pearce, so I'll give them a second chance...but not a third!
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You won't be afraid.......
FlashCallahan22 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
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.....

This is one of those films that has a famous Autuers name on some producing credit to give the movie that little bit more gravitas.

Del Toro stated that he wanted to make this as it was his favourite TV mini series of the seventies. And good grief is the film bad.

Like the re-make of 'The Haunting' the house is beautiful and so are the sets, but you come to see a horror movie to be scared, or be put under a little tension, not to see anorexic gremlins bully a little girl.

Pearce and Holmes have zero chemistry and the only reason this hasn't got one star is because, to my knowledge the first time that Mike and Jim Robinson from hit Aussie soap 'Neighbours' have been in the same room on the big screen.

otherwise, it's dull, don't let the Del Toro credit fool you.
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Don't waste your time
ptwob_kingry9 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Dumb, dumb, dumb...

I'm pretty sure the writers forgot this script was due until 12 hours before the deadline..."wait...the script's due tomorrow?!!?"

Let me get this straight. Your house's caretaker has an "accident" in which he stabs himself in the back of the knee with a screwdriver, cuts his hand with a razor, gouges his own eye out and then stumbles up the stairs with a set of scissors stabbed into his shoulder...makes sense. That must have been some dynamite police work. I especially liked how he's laying on the floor bleeding and the nanny does nothing. Get the dude a towel, water, some Robitussin...something.

The award for worst parents in history goes to Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes. What I learned from this movie is that if your child has a traumatic experience, the first thing you should do is immediately put them to bed, in the dark, by themselves and let them be alone with their thoughts. Guy Pearce is a total douche in this movie. His girlfriend's clothes are found slashed by a razor and his caretaker has just suffered a brutal, violent attack in the basement. His little daughter is hysterical and has been attacked twice, Guy Pearce's solution...let's throw a party!! He was a real bad ass too when Katie Holmes got sucked down the hole in the basement. Didn't even try to get her back...nice.

CGI rat dwarfs aren't scary either.

I would rather shut my manhood in a car door than see this movie again.
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Be VERY afraid of this movie!
preppy-326 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Pointless remake of the 1973 MTV movie. Alex (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) renovate an old house. They invite Sally (Bailee Madison), Alex's only kid from a previous marriage, to stay with them. Sally starts hearing voices from the walled up basement in the house. There are creatures there that say they want to play with Sally...but they have more sinister intentions.

There was absolutely no reason to remake the downright terrifying 1973 TV movie--but that never stopped Hollywood! In the original it was a woman who was terrorized--here it's a young girl. The film is not graphic (how it got the R rating is beyond me) but it has its moments. The attack on Harris (Jack Thompson) is pretty bloody and cool and when Sally finds something under her bed sheets it's downright terrifying...but there are too few moments in this film. It moves slowly and is pretty dull. Pearce (who can be great) appears drugged out and Holmes is just TERRIBLE in her role. Very blank and annoying. Madison easily outacts them in a very compelling performance. It says a lot about any movie where the kid gives the best performance. The monsters themselves are gremlin-like creatures and are kind of cool...but no reason is given for their interest in killing people.

All in all this is a generic and quite boring horror film. Skip it. I give it a 2.
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Could have been better but not a total loss
sunznc28 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I remember the original as a teenager and thinking how creepy and unnerving the film was. And it was no technological wonder! No CGI. Just Kim Darby looking afraid.

But of course now we have much more advanced ways of creating special effects monsters. The problem though with this film is enough time isn't spent on the actors struggling with what their daughter is telling them. Mom see's some old paintings done by someone who lived in the house and opens her eyes wide, dad doesn't want to listen to his daughter or girlfriend and that's about as much reaction we get from the adults.

It needed more time spent on the daughter trying desperately to tell the adults what she was seeing and watching the adults try to grapple with it. Is our daughter insane? Is she hallucinating? Did she really see something? Let's check it out. None of this happens until the end.

The film isn't bad. The photography is good but the acting isn't there for me. If my kid told me they saw something I'd grab a flashlight and start poking and prodding. I mean, at least it could have been some wild animal in the house. This is lacking here and it does make a difference with this remake, in a film like this.

Could have been better.
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like a comedy was advertised as a horror
MikesIDhasbeentaken5 March 2012
I saw the adverts, and thought 'this looks good!' What i didn't know, was that the adverts covered what the actual film was about, and when, while watching the film, you find out what the monsters are, I almost laughed.

Tiny little half pint sized sprites struggling to hold up nail clippers on the attack! it is probably the only 'haunted house' film i've seen where i'd think, i'll buy it anyway, and set some mouse traps down in the basement, problem solved.

I've not seen the original of this film, and i'm sure this film has ruined the original series, and will try to watch with an open mind. This film tho, very disappointing, considering the trailers looked so promising.
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How the mighty have fallen
lil_moe28 August 2011
So, in the years I've been a member of this website (since 2003), this is the most hurtful blow I've taken. I've fell a victim for online reviews written by people related to the makers of the movie, concerned friends and family or what I suspect in this movie case, the "paid" hired help. This movie is terrible. I've never walked out on a movie before no matter how bad it was but my wife had to keep pulling my arm to stop me from storming out of the theater in rage and shame at Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes. Both names have made immortal art pieces at some time in their past (Memento for Mr Pearce and Go for msz Cruze). What compelled them to participate in such a monstrosity as this movie is beyond me. All I can think of is that they needed money badly. IF YOU ARE A FAN OF GUY PEARCE OR KATIE HOLMES DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. I wish someone told me this before I saw the movie because all of a sudden I don't really feel like watching either one's future movies.

Now, to review the movie real quick, the story line had great potential. The acting CGI and soundtrack were all offensive to the sane, sober movie goer. The "monsters" are not fit to be in a Disney fairytale production. They looked like a conception of a freshman in computer-design major. The first time the creatures were revealed, the whole movie house broke out in laughter, THAT bad.

The last thing that I have to mention, those IMDb vote results are rigged. NOT by IMDb itself, obviously. A breakdown of the votes show me 400+ votes were 10. A number that no other "scary movie" has ever gotten. Scary movies are entertaining but they are not 10. But, hey, to each his own. A further breakdown reveals that 81 US users and 244 non-US users gave it 10. Hmmmm... A movie produced in the US, set in the US and is as American as a cheeseburger and yet the bulk majority of the people who thought it PERFECT are non US residents... Sounds too fishy. Why another reviewer here subscribes to IMDb and sings all glory to this movie while other "disputably" good movies were all rated one by that same user tells me there is money involved.

Bottom line, the movie is a complete waste of time and money. This movie will go down to the film history as The Fiasco of Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes and Mr del Toror.

2 out of 10 for the fact that someone actually bothered and made this movie at all.
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A Lame Screenplay, Despite the Participation of Guillermo del Toro
claudio_carvalho18 February 2012
In Rhode Island, the interior designers Alex (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) welcome Alex's nine year daughter Sally (Bailee Madison) that was sent by her mother to live with Alex. The couple brings Sally to the manor of the painter Emerson Blackwood (Garry McDonald), who had disappeared with his son many years ago, and Alex has invested all his money in the mansion expecting to be promoted in his business with the restoration of the house.

Sally rejects Kim and feels lonely in the mansion and while walking on the real estate, she finds that the manor has a hidden basement. Alex's employee William Harris (Jack Thompson), who is a descendant of Blackwood, warns Sally to never go to the basement but the girl overhears voices in the ash pit calling her. However Sally brings a wrench and removes the bolts of the ash pit cover. Sooner Sally finds that evil creatures that fear the light have escaped from the underground through the ash pit and are threatening her. However, Alex and Kim believe that it is only her imagination.

"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" is a remake of a 1973 film that I have never seen. The cinematography and the performance of the girl Bailee Madison are great. Unfortunately the lame screenplay has many plot holes and, for example, the disappearance of Kim and the weird events that the guests have witnessed have no consequence in the end of the story.

The DVD has interviews and behind stage footages and it is visible the interference of Guillermo del Toro in the direction. Unfortunately his participation is not enough to save this film. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "Não Tenha Medo do Escuro" ("Don't Be Afraid of the Dark")
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