Saturday, August 27, 2011

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

After a gruesome opening scene in the basement of an old mansion, the story begins some 60 years later as an architect, his girlfriend, and his troubled young daughter move into the same house as they begin to restore it. Soon, little creatures begin to prey on the girl's fears but it quickly appears that they are anything but friendly as they try to lure her into the furnace where she will become their feast. Now, she seems doomed as her father and his girlfriend refuse to believe any of the ludicrous stories she tells them. "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" was written by Guillermo del Toro from a 1973 teleplay and directed by Troy Nixey. It is a good looking film with some great exterior photography, and it features good performances from Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes. However, the film does not go for as many scares as you would think and the ones it does go for are not handled particularly well. Young Bailee Madison does not make a compelling heroine either and I found myself not really caring what happened to her character. In the end I found myself sympathizing with Pearce's architect, not giving much credence to this poorly realized story.