For the life of me, I can’t fully understand why my expectations were so high for this movie. It might have had something to do with the attachment of Guillermo Del Toro’s name, unfortunately though he didn’t even direct it. It could have to do with the fact that this year actually reinforced my fate in the horror genre after the film Insidious was released. A Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark trailer was played before every viewing of Insidious and that was good marketing because I was very excited to this movie. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with the end result.
From the very beginning the film set a very intense and gloomy mood with a disturbing scene in which a man removes a woman’s teeth to give to the voices in his wall. It was a well made opening scene to set up a unique horror story. Then we meet our main characters, Sally, her father, and her step mother and that’s when the stereotypes and the disappointment begins. After the opening credits there were a handful of sequences I could definitely say I enjoyed particularly one where our main protagonist, Sally, crawls through her bed covers slowly. We know what’s to come. We just don’t know when.
Aside from a few select scenes such as that, the audience goes through agony as we have to watch scene after scene of actions that shouldn’t have been taken but are and lines you’d expect to be said and are of course said. I was sad to see Guy Pearce (a personal favorite of mine) in this dull horror flick playing the father we’ve all scene in any other lame horror film like this who of course doesn’t believe his daughter. It’s not that he was bad, he was just in a bad movie. Katie Holmes was decent and Bailee Madison was very believable as the trapped daughter.
All and all, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark had a very interesting premise and a lot of potential. It just seem the filmmakers were too afraid to actually be too out of the ordinary because they managed to take a very unique idea and make just like any other cliche filled horror movie. And it wasn’t even one of the those horror movies that you can laugh it because it’s so stupid. It found a middle ground between amazing and awful and just managed to be sad. It’s truly a disappointment to state this but Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was was just not the horror film it could’ve been.