Be Afraid Of The Dark
Nothing will be as scary as that earthquake (even being married to Tom
Cruise), but this week we have a movie that is willing to try.
Bailee Madison stars as Sally - a cute little girl sent from the West
Coast to the East Coast to live with her father, Alex (Guy Pearce), and
his girlfriend, Kim (Katie Holmes) in a big, creepy, old, mysterious,
isolated mansion (Uh-Oh). As if the transition wasn't hard enough for
this kid, she discovers a long hidden basement to this eerie, empty
mansion, and strange voices are beckoning to her each night (Double
When the beings behind these voices start to enact their evil plan,
will anyone believe Sally when she tries to explain who is behind all
of the scary stuff happening around the house?
Will the evil voices get her before she can escape?
Afraid Of The Dark relies a bit
too much on scary movie clichés like the little girl being
in danger, the man who doesn't believe it, the woman who starts to
figure it all out, but it may be too late. However, director Troy Nixey
gives us some good teases and frights as you can sense the danger just
beyond the light, hiding in the shadows and ready to leap out to scare
off your underpants. The voices give you a sense of impending doom and
danger, while Madison perfectly captures the child's initial curiosity,
and intense fear as the situation spirals out of hand.
Yet, I am not all that sold on the evil beings. Without giving too much
away, they were more imposing before we see them. Maybe that is the
point, and you can't deny the danger they pose when united and acting
together to capture Sally, no matter how unimpressive they appear to be
at first sight.
Most of all, the crowd and theater where you see the movie will impact
whether you are scared or giggling. Some of the scary moments and those
evil beings calling to our little girl are a bit too silly, and if the
crowd starts to vocally rebel, it ruins the tone of the film. The
audience interacting with the screen, which happened extensively when I
saw Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark,
interrupts the flow of the movie and Nixey's attempts to use the quiet
and extended moments of anticipation to build up suspense for the big
Also, make sure you see it in a theater that doesn't show 3D (look for
silver screen). It's a dark movie. Again, when I saw it, the Cineplex
in question used a theater outfitted with a 3D screen and projector,
but didn't change the lens properly to display Don't Be Afraid Of
Dark in 2D, so it was hard to see everything. The extra lens
for this 3D projection effects the light used to project the film to
the screen. It has to be removed by the projectionist, but many
theaters fail to do so. Shame on them for ruining the movie for us, so
don't let them do it to you.
Be Afraid Of The Dark is rated R for violence and terror