Thursday, September 22, 2011

Don't Be Afraid of The Dark

"Don't Be Afraid of The Dark"

Or rather, be very afraid of the dark as that's when the little creatures will come to get you. Based on the television movie of the same name, Producer/writer Guillermo del Toro retells the tale in his own vision. The suspense is ramped up but the stakes remain the same... the life of a little girl and her family.

Guy Pearce plays the father of little Sally, who has come to live with him and his girlfriend, Kim played by Katie Holmes. Of course, they are refurbishing a huge gothic home with a dark secret in it's past. Sally is played by newcomer, Bailee Madison and she is talented beyond her years. The script calls for her to react to some pretty terrible things and she handles the role very well. Mr. Del Toro has a appreciation for dark fairy tales featuring strong willed little girls. There are moments of tribute to his earlier work, "Pan's Labyrinth" but that remains a superior film. This remake is stuffed with horror movie clich├ęs.

The director, Troy Nixey tries to slowly build suspense and using the "Spielberg technique" doesn't completely reveal his monsters until well into the film. Unfltunately his slow build is pretty boring. The lighting and music do create a suspenseful atmosphere but all the bumps in the night are pretty stock elements. Overall, this is a hohum thriller with a few frightful moments but it is quickly disappearing from theaters to make room for the "big guns" of fall. If you rent it on DVD, watch it with the lights out. It will help.

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