Don't be Afraid of the Dark Movie Review

by Rick Grant
In this freaky satirical remake of an old 1970s TV movie, co-written by Guillermo del Toro, it goes for the classic horror scare from the beginning. Be ready to watch this one through the cracks in your fingers. The setting is a dark and dank old mansion with a paranormal past. Guy Pearce stars as Alex Hurst who, along with his interior designer girlfriend, Kim, (Katie Holmes) are remodeling the palatial mansion. Oh yea, Mrs. Tom Cruise is about to skip the scientology conference and land in creepy old pad that makes Amityville look like Mr. Roger’s neighborhood.
One day, out of the blue, Alex’s daughter Sally (Bailee Madison) arrives at Creepsville Palace to live with Alex and Kim. Sally is sent there by Alex’s ex-wife, who obviously can’t stand the child. Viewers know right away that this moody little girl is fresh meat for whatever demonic forces live in the basement. (Isn’t that where all good demons stage their raves)
Predictably, Sally just can’t resist exploring the nether-regions of the mansion. She heads straight to the basement where she hears strange voices. Ah yes, the innocent little girl’s in danger, but viewers can’t see what stalks her. Poor Kim, Sally doesn’t want to be there and she ignores Kim, who is trying to be a good stepmother. Katie Holmes character, Kim seems to be conflicted about Sally’s credibility. Kim never seems to be on Sally’s side until it’s obvious that the family is facing a deadly enemy.
Guy Pearce plays Alex with stoic resolve to help Sally adjust to the Munsters’ house and Kim. But he has blunders on when Sally is battling the demons. He doesn’t get it until it’s almost too late.
As horror films go, del Toro and his colleagues’ script is terribly cliche. The fright moments are predictable and the reveal of the demons is anticlimactic. However, it’s the stuff of nightmares. So for horror devotees, the film is worth viewing.