I love Guillermo Del Toro! He has a creative imagination and a talent with the macabre and strange. So, although I heard mixed reviews (mostly bad) about Don’t Be Afraid of Dark, I still wanted to see it. Plus, many times I enjoy movies others do not–well…I should have stayed away. What started off as a promising premise with a nicely troubled little girl in the center turned into a predictable, silly BOO fest. (Boo is my way of describing a movie that is not genuinely scary and resorts to pop out and BOO tactics. Dark hallway, turn the corner and then…BOO!)
I was not impressed with the cast. Katie Holmes annoys me and even as the smartest person in this film, I still wanted to punch her. Sorry–I can not help it! Guy Pearce is a great actor, but has nothing to work with here. In turn he is left with talking on phone and thinking his kid is crazy. Bailee Madison is a little one note as the little girl–and that is the biggest mistake, because she needs to be the heart of the story. Instead she has only one facial expression and she emotes the same emotion. Would it have killed someone if she cracked a smile? The house is pretty interesting with lots of intricate wood work and requisite creepiness and could have been utilized more to create atmosphere. The creatures–that we should be afraid of–are well rendered, but not truly scary–they end up being more like a rat infestation–which actually would’ve been scarier.
I am not an avid horror/scary movie fan, yet I do enjoy a good scare every once in awhile and sadly this did not satisfy that need. Oh, yeah–by the way–if all the above was not bad enough…the ending is stupid! **insert eye roll** Go at your own risk!