3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Yet Another Remake We Really Don't Need,
This review is from: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (DVD)
Guillermo del Toro of "Pan's Labyrinth" fame presents (not directs) "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," a tepid horror remake directed by first-timer Troy Nixey. Based on the 1973 made-for-TV film starring Kim Darby, the new version looks like a text-book case of how not to make a horror movie.
An 8-year-old girl Sally (Bailee Madison), her father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) start a new life in an old Rhode Island mansion once owned by a famous painter Emerson Blackwood (Garry McDonald) who went missing. Alex intends to repair and renovate the house of the renowned artist (one reason for them not to leave the place). But Sally senses there is something wrong with Blackwood Manor, hearing voices from somewhere below.
It is not the film's worm-out storyline about a young girl in peril that disappointed me. It is the way the story is told that really destroyed everything in the movie. The film has no consistent inner logic, with hopelessly stupid characters making countless stupid decisions. If someone meets an "accident" in your house, you will ask him or her how it happened. If your daughter is scared of something, giving her a Polaroid camera is not a solution. Bland acting from usually reliable Guy Pearce doesn't help.
Another problem of the film is that it shows too much, the same mistake that Jan de Bont's misguided remake of "The Haunting" committed. The scary entities (whatever they are) are most effective while staying in the dark. Despite the decent special effects, they only look like a bunch of huge rats to me.
"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" is yet another remake we really don't need.