1 hour, 40 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for violence and terror.
Guy Pearce ...
Katie Holmes ...
Bailee Madison ...
Jack Thompson ...
Julia Blake ...
In this remake of a
1973 Movie-of-the-Week, a sad-faced young girl named Sally (Bailee Madison) is sent by her uncaring
mother to live with her father Alex (Guy Pearce), who, along with his
young girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes), is renovating a long-uninhabited
estate, outside Providence, Rhode Island, in hopes of selling
it at a profit.
Shortly after arriving at the place, Sally uncovers a hitherto-unknown
basement, where little gargoyles are waiting behind a grating,
occupying a cavern that apparently descends to the very center of the
earth. But soon they’re out and about, whispering to Sally, alternately
enticing and threatening her. Eventually Kim and Alex are persuaded of
their existence, and in time the trio is trying to survive the
creatures’ onslaught and escape intact.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark could have worked as a simple
chiller if producer Guillermo del Toro would have directed it himself but first time director Troy
Nixey proves to be more journeyman than artist, although he does employ the
power of suggestion in the early reels by showing the creatures only in
snatches, forcing us to imagine what they might be, but after giving us a
good look about halfway through, he uses them far too much. And
generally while his work hits the right notes and is well paced and scary, it lacks the
visual poetry needed to make the movie really memorable.