A young girl, Sally (Bailee Madison) moves in to a new home with her Father and his girlfriend, played by Guy Pearce (Memento) and Katie Holmes (The Gift). Once there, she begins to hear whispers from the air vents and basement. It is not long before Sally is being tormented by a horde of small bald, CGI monkeys that are afraid of bright lights. The film dips momentarily into the history of the creatures and even playing on a twisted tooth fairy premise, but neither are enough to capture the viewer’s interest or provide a solid back story.
Still, the movie starts off well, the house and art work featured in the movie has its own darkly charming style complimented with some clever lighting which gives the scenes a soft, eerie glow. Unfortunately, the more we see of the creatures, the less scary they become. Katie Holmes and Bailee Madison deliver solid performances, but the script doesn’t develop or build the relationship between the two. Subsequently the movie fails to chill or scare, leaving a handful of unanswered questions and little emotional connection to the characters.
Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark isn’t a terrible movie, not by a long shot and had I been in my early teens, I have no doubt, I would be hesitant turning off my light before crawling into bed after seeing it. If you can overlook a few minor plot holes and the cliché story I suspect you will enjoy it.
Written and produced by Gullermo Del Toro, the creative driving force behind Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. This film is a loose remake of the superior, 1973 TV movie of the same name, which in turn was based upon Lovecraft’s Rats in the Walls.
Our Rating: 5.7