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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

3.6 out of 5 stars 262 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sally, a young girl, moves to Rhode Island to live with her father and his new girlfriend in the 19th-century mansion they are restoring. While exploring the house, Sally starts to hear voices coming from creatures in the basement whose hidden agenda is to claim her as one of their own.

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Fondly remembered for scaring the Tab out of impressionable viewers, 1973's television movie Don't Be Afraid of the Dark stands today as a minor classic of irrational dream-logic horror, with an ending that goes straight for the worst-case scenario. Despite (or perhaps because of) its wonky effects, minimalist character development, and snicker-worthy Freudisms, it knows how to linger into the wee small hours. Cowriter-producer Guillermo del Toro's mash note of a remake is a superior movie in virtually all aspects, really, yet it somehow fails to ping the same whimpering neurons. Director Troy Nixey's film follows the same basic blueprint as the source material--a fractured family (Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes, and Bailee Madison) moves into a dark old house, only to be tormented by a gaggle of tiny chatterbox demons--but with a much greater emphasis on the mythology and back story of the creatures. Del Toro has long proclaimed his love for the original movie, and it's rather fascinating to see the filmmaker attempt to shoehorn his own trademark obsessions (grim fairy-tale origins, spooky little girls, odd Lovecraftian angles, etc.) into the existing material. Still, such Gothic curlicues, however nifty, ultimately end up diluting the solid-state nightmare fuel of the premise. Aside from a few solid shocks and a strong performance by Holmes, this heartfelt redo is unlikely to have the same lasting effect on audiences as the much cruder original. Instead of focusing on the hows and whys, that one just wanted to freak the viewer out. --Andrew Wright

Special Features

The Story
Blackwood's Mansion
The Creatures

Product Details

  • Actors: Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 3, 2012
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (262 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005TK23PQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,203 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
As I start my review for "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" I must confess one thing: I'm not a fan of supernatural horror movies. While I admire haunted house films like "Poltergeist", I've always found this sub-genre of horror to be painfully dull and its characters to be agonizingly stupid ("The Amityville Horror", I'm looking at you). They usually have the same formula: a stupid, yuppie couple (occasionally with children) buy a house, move in, hear strange noises, and bad things happen. Rinse and repeat. So, going into "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark", my expectations were pretty low. After reading some not so positive reviews online, they sank even further. So is "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" worth screaming for? Well..more on that in a bit.

The film begins with a gruesome prologue shows the home's deranged first owner, Emerson Blackwood, luring his maid into the dungeon-like basement and performing medieval dentistry on the terrified young woman. As he carries out the atrocity, he explains to the young maid that they, the goblin-like creatures known as Homunculi, have taken his son and will only give him back with teeth. As the young woman screams, whispering can be heard all around the room from the sealed up fireplace. Blackwood makes his way over to the fireplace and offers the teeth in exchange for the return of his son, only to be told his offering wasn't acceptable and he is pulled into the fireplace. The basement is sealed and forgotten over the generations.

The movie then opens with a young girl, Sally Hirst (Bailee Madison), moving into Blackwood Manor, the Gothic mansion being restored by her architect father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes), an interior decorator.
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This is a really really great movie - oh my word the actors are so believable!
To me this is the best kind of scary movie genre - not too graphic, done with class, good cinema photo work, awesome sets - A+++

Highly recommend if you like Woman in Black.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
just watched don't be afraid of the dark (2010). totally loved it, and was actually a little tense, just as i was as a child watching the original. the end was an uncompromising punch in the gut. i actually involuntarily put my hand over my heart. i've never liked katie holmes more; actually, i've never liked her at all, and i generally feel like she drags down every picture she's in, but not so in this case. she rocks, and i could really feel her parent-ness rising to the fore. she was really great. i assume she was named kim as a tribute to the original's kim darby, which was a nice touch. madison bailey as sally was something of a revelation, very effectively portraying abject fear, sadness, loneliness, and that perpetual kid-in-monster-movies-drag of not being believed. she and holmes were wonderful together, and guy pearce provided what he needed to. while the creatures were revealed a little too early, i thought they were pretty nifty, and managed to honor the original creatures without being nearly as goofy; these things reeked of evil intent. gothic and lovely, with sprawling gardens and the type of house that is every kids dream and nightmare, don't be afraid of the dark was awesome and kept me pleasantly on edge.
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Though a bit different than the original Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark, which came out in the seventies (I believe) this was a pretty good remake. The original was a "for television" Friday night horror thing. I was very young and I can't exactly remember what the weekly show was called, but my aunt and I would get so excited in anticipation of the weekly scare fest. A few of the movies were pretty good for the time. I remember one about a doll that was pretty creepy, but the one that I remember the most is this one that has come back to haunt us again. Katie Holmes did a wonderful job, and the little girl did too, but in the original, the WIFE was Sally, not the little child. I remember the creepy little voices floating up out of the fireplace grill....."Sally...Salllllyyy...Sall..." Brrrrrrrr. Of course this modern version was a full length movie; great effects, great creature features...the little evil fairies (I think it's the basis for the tooth fairy thrown in there) a modge podge of Grimm fairy tale meets Amityville horror. I thought is was worth the price of a rental. I think I'm going to try to find the seventies version and watch it. I'll probably have to buy a remaster, but I think it would be worth it. Those of us that seen the first one I know would get a kick out of seeing something that gave me a case of the real heebie jebbies!
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Format: DVD
So Mr Del Toro had this brilliant idea for a remake of the old horror classic DONT BE AFRAID OF THE DARK. It is no secret that everything he's involved in is always a success. I've never seen Cronos or Mimic yet but i will soon. He first caught my attention when he directed and wrote PANS LABYRINTH which quickly became a horror/fantasy classic all over the world. I think he really knew what he wanted to do with this movie, so much that he actually choose to find someone else to direct the film, Mr Troy Nixey. I would say this is an excellent start for Mr Nixey. The work they did on this film is amazing.

Here's the intro's plot from WIKI : In Blackwood Manor in Providence County, Rhode island, renowned wildlife painter Lord Blackwood summons his housekeeper into the basement where he kills her with a hammer and chisel. He removes her teeth and offers them to mysterious creatures down an ash pit within an old fireplace; however, the creatures demand the teeth of children. Blackwood begs for them to give back his kidnapped son, only to be dragged down the ash pit by the creatures. In the present day, 8-year old Sally Hurst arrives in Rhode Island to live with her father Alex (Guy pearce) and his girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes), both restoring Blackwood Manor to put it on the market for their new client. They're the ones who'll have to deal with those creepy little creatures and find a way to get rid of them.....

The acting is perfect, the little sally (Bailee Madison) is really good in her role and so as Guy pearce in the father's role. This was also very good surprise to see katie holmes on the screen again, i still believe she is one of the best actress in the world today, her role here is simple but she definitely delivered an honest performance.
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