Movie Review: Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark
Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years and 7 months ago
Guillermo Del Toro has to be one of my favorites when it comes to the world of ghosts, goblins and ghouls. His long anticipated reboot caused a scary stir of echoes, and for what it’s worth…Eh! I enjoyed it, but I left thinking one thing…”I’ve seen this before.” Yes, there’s always something different, but in the end…it seemed like the all too familiar supernatural scare-tactic rundown which originates from history and decides to come back. You know the drill--Supernatural existences, with supernatural abilities, and supernatural powers, which allow it to do supernatural things, therefore, “supernaturally” scaring the large intestine out of everyone inhabiting their crib…as well as all the zombies in the audience!
The all-too-familiar premise for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark slightly mirrors a few other scare flicks (The Amityville Horror, The Shining, Poltergeist, Entity); you know, a newly formed family moves into an old house, and discover it is in some way haunted/inhabited with unpleasant existences and/or things. The usual dim lighting is used in the old house, which has gone through an upgrade to a degree, yet still dark and without many lamps—as most scare flicks are! Following that common ground of course are the victims. We see one helpless victim early on, years before present day. Oh, wait, also, for the duration of the film, an annoying fuck trophy! In this case, Sally (Madison) is at the core of it all. Sally (Like any other scare flick fuck trophy) seems drawn to her imaginary friend…or maybe not so imaginary, which is a bit of a stretch, but fuck trophies do the most imbecilic things, so we follow on.
Like all scare flicks, the creepy kid, for whatever reason is assumed to be imagining shit and their anxiety is ignored and diagnosed as paranoia. Yep, that’s what happens with Sally. Her dad (Pearce) and his new love tunnel, Kim (Holmes) believe she is acting out in protest because she can’t stand her new mommy-to-be! Sprinkle in a little rehashed contemporary actions—displaying their stubbornness, causing the ever-so-common “I can’t believe they’re doing that” mentality—and your typical Hollywood scare flick is done!
However, despite my PMS rant on a gap from being anything unique, your typical white—because you wouldn’t see a Black or Hispanic family embark on such a fright thrill—refusing to leave, it still manages to keep your attention. (It did for me) Guillermo never ceases to fail when it comes to creating/evolving anxiety and/or wonder throughout this piece, and what helps keep up the anxiety is having been shot entirely on a large set. Instead of one based on drama, Nixey shows off more to be a visual artist abundantly detailed with mystery, allowing anything evil possible. he also manages for a bit to get you into the head of this creepy kid and see the house and its grounds from her view, but that’s where most of the thrills stop, as there really isn’t much to expect on a level of high scares.
Once the antogonists are unveiled, I lost my passion. If you’re like me, you’ll lose it too and you’ll see why.
For what it's worth, the kid was a pretty good actress as well...I have to give her props on that. And overall, not a bad movie, but from the hands of Del Toro, I expected some severe psychological fucking! But don’t be discouraged, humanoids…not sour for a watch!