Credit where credit’s due – the production design of this little wannabe spine tingler is fantastic. The house looks as foreboding as its wannabe big (well actually very little) bads. But the glorious design can’t cover up what is, in essence, a totally by the numbers and extremely dull film.
Adapted from a tele-movie of the same name, DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK has been modernised and tells the tale of a girl sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend in this isolation mansion. What lives in said mansion are small demonic nymphs who want to eat your teeth and sacrifice a child every time you let them out.
The cast, led by Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison, are all suitably dull and morose throughout. Everything is so heavy handed and earnest in every scene, especially ones featuring Holmes and Madison (mind you she shat me in Brothers as the elder daughter too), that there is no playfulness in sight through the 100 minutes endurance test that this is.
When the frights and scares begin I wanted them to feast on the flesh of this annoying little girl whose acting like she’s a middle aged know-it-all. Shut Up Kid! You’re To Be Seen & Not Heard!
Effects are great and well done but to truly make a film like this work you need levity not depression. If it took some humour into play, this could’ve been a real cracker.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK releases on BLU RAY, DOWNLOAD & DVD in AUSTRALIA soon.