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Don't be Afraid of the Dark (2011)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Troy Nixey

Starring:
Guy Pearce/Alex
Katie Holmes/Kim
Bailee Madison/Sally
Jack Thompson/harris
PLOT-CRUNCH
Troubled little girl (Madison) goes to live with her pops (Pierce) and his new squeeze (Holmes) in a big mansion that they are renovating. Problem is; there are little evil buggers in the basement; they're afraid of the light and they’re (in a Dr. Loomis drawl) Eviiiiiiiillllll! Do the math!
THE LOWDOWN
DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (a remake of the 1973 TV Movie of the same name) was one of my most anticipated horror flicks of the year. Why? Well it had King shit Guillermo del Toro behind it (he produced and co wrote the screenplay with Matthew Robbins), came off as one of them Grimm fairy tales type spiel and personally; I dig on genre films that use things that go bump in the night and subtlety to evoke its frights. I don’t feel we get enough of them. Torture, gore fest or rape flicks…yeah…we get them in spades, but low key and old school type of fear parties axed on suspense; not enough for my liking. So you can imagine my facial expression when I came out of that theater totally let down by this one.

It’s really too bad; cause DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK had all of the required elements to be a hit. It sported a gnarly initial premise, gorgeous macabre atheistic, a key location that worked (The creepy Victorian-ish mansion looked astounding and fit the Gothic bill) tight camera work, stellar production designs (loved that mural) and fear ploys (by comic artist turned director Troy Nixey) that were superior to the norm. I really dug how they held back on showing us the beasties for a while there, it was working wonders on me, too bad it all went to shit once they came out of the box, but more on that later. On top of that; the creatures (shades of the buggers in THE GATE) were well designed and their CG execution on the ball and there was quite the cast at play here! Guy Pierce was genuine as the “too busy with work to give a hoot” father, Katie “somebody feed her something already” Holmes was credible and likable in her role, Jack Thompson shined in a key supporting part while young Bailee Madison was very convincing as the little girl with personal issues and now monster issues.

So what went wrong? The flick asked me to be an utter imbecile to go along with its STUPID chain of events and I wouldn’t have it; that’s what. The film started losing me when it had its child lead act in a complete opposite manner as to how a real kid would respond to potential monsters in the house. Dumb moves to serve the plot show up often in horror films but for some reason it was worse because it was a kid; no way a child would go and venture in a dark basement by herself, or take a bath solo when knowing that violent creatures are around…no f*cking way! The flick spat in my eye some more; when one grisly event was called an “accident” by the movie and its characters to then be brushed under the carpet to continue on its “suspension of disbelief heavy" path. An accident? You expect me to believe that everybody in that house didn’t clue in that what went down was far from a mishap?! Are you f*cking stupid? Do you think I am f*cking stupid? The answer is YES on both counts.

Sadly that occurrence opened the flood gates as this sucka continued with its frustrating knack of making its child lead do the opposite of what she’s supposed to be doing and the adult characters just became frustratingly denser every second. Result? I as an audience member, not only started to hate the characters, but I was also taken out of the story, because hey, I didn’t believe in it anymore. Too much cheating to force the plot in the direction it had to go. One thing that was odd: the narrative kept setting itself up with opportunities to get the grown ups into the mix and to tell its tale in a rational and credible fashion… but alas, it would duck going with it when it had the chance, preferring to continue on its three blind mice trek. So by the time all hell broke loose, I just didn’t care anymore. The inane chain of events and the character choices/reactions murdered my involvement and my attachment to the whole she-bang. What was initial excitement became moans, groans and laughter… yes as the final act kicked in, I was laughing AT the movie. Not good. So as the end credits rolled, I was like “What the f*ck?” I couldn’t believe it blew.

Bummer…
GORE
We get some blood, stabbings, cuts… nothing major. I have no idea why this movie is Rated R. It’s a PG 13 to me!
T & A
Naked, tiny monsters. Masturbate away!
BOTTOM LINE
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark = My numero uno cinematic let-down of the year. Although the initial premise had promise, the cast was tight, the effects money and the direction able; the flick asked me to suspend disbelief to a ludicrous degree, its grown ups so thick, it was maddening and the thing was filled with so many dumb moves to serve the plot that I overdosed on them. I wound up scoffing at the flick for treating me like an idiot (which I am BTW, but that is besides the point) and by the time the last block kicked in, I was laughing at the movie and just didn't care anymore... I wanted it to end. Hey that's just me. Maybe if you're able to get past all of its shortcomings you'll be able to have a good time; I obviously couldn't wing it. I’m a huge del Toro fan…dude is a genius but here, no dice. I guess everybody’s gotta put out a stinker now and again…
BULL'S EYE
The flick got an R from them morons at the MPAA for... "pervasive scariness". Pussies...

The flick was shot in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

In the original Sally Farnham was a grown woman. Here she is a child.
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10:52AM on 06/03/2012
The mostly completely negative reviews for this held me at bay for a while. I finally decided to give it a go on Netflix and was shocked at how much I liked it.
Most of the complaints are valid, but for me the dark fairy tale atmosphere, slick direction, good cast (mostly) and old school creature feature vibe won me over. I'm a sucker for monster movies like this.
The mostly completely negative reviews for this held me at bay for a while. I finally decided to give it a go on Netflix and was shocked at how much I liked it.
Most of the complaints are valid, but for me the dark fairy tale atmosphere, slick direction, good cast (mostly) and old school creature feature vibe won me over. I'm a sucker for monster movies like this.
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7:14PM on 01/08/2012
I actually didn't hate the film. I was afraid to see the movie...but I finally did today, and I didn't love it, but I enjoyed it. The acting was good (especially from the young girl) and the suspense was there. I absolutely loved the Gothic look of the film and that house was creepy as fuck!

I agree that there were tons of stupid character moves that would take me out of the film and the writing had a problem of going bad at points. I did love the first act and final twenty minutes.
I actually didn't hate the film. I was afraid to see the movie...but I finally did today, and I didn't love it, but I enjoyed it. The acting was good (especially from the young girl) and the suspense was there. I absolutely loved the Gothic look of the film and that house was creepy as fuck!

I agree that there were tons of stupid character moves that would take me out of the film and the writing had a problem of going bad at points. I did love the first act and final twenty minutes. But overall it was okay!
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10:57PM on 09/08/2011
i'm giving this movie 4 stars because my girlfriend gave me a handjob during the 'accident' scene. i don't remember anything else about the film.
i'm giving this movie 4 stars because my girlfriend gave me a handjob during the 'accident' scene. i don't remember anything else about the film.
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+0
7:31PM on 08/28/2011

SUCKED

The wife and I don't get to go to film often with each other due to the rug rats. Went to see this because of GDT name being attached. Film sucked hard. Skip this one.
The wife and I don't get to go to film often with each other due to the rug rats. Went to see this because of GDT name being attached. Film sucked hard. Skip this one.
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+0
10:34AM on 08/25/2011

'' Don't be afraid of this flick ''

I couldn't agree more , and it's a shame, because that kid's got skills , too bad they were in this putrid mess . The ' accident ' ?? I looked at my buddy next to me , and he's grinding his teeth to the bone. A film that insults an audience's intelligence , there is nothing authentic here at all !!
I couldn't agree more , and it's a shame, because that kid's got skills , too bad they were in this putrid mess . The ' accident ' ?? I looked at my buddy next to me , and he's grinding his teeth to the bone. A film that insults an audience's intelligence , there is nothing authentic here at all !!
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