Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Guillermo Del Toro presents Don’t be Afraid of the Dark. This is the guy who did Pan’s Labyrinth, so you know it’s going to be visually beautiful. This one stars Guy Pearce as an architect whose girlfriend is Katie Holmes. His daughter from his previous marriage, who’s played by Bailee Madison, is sent to be with her dad because her mom is somewhat neglectful supposedly. The problem about this movie is within the first 15 minutes, it sets it up that there is actual real evilness here, set up like 100 years before. If they hadn’t, this could’ve been a really astute psychological drama because with the question being, is this kid imagining things for attention? Is she hysterical as her parents, especially her father believes, or is there something really there? Unfortunately, we already know according to the first 15 minutes, that she’s not hysterical and that there really is some evil. It would’ve been a much better movie if we hadn’t known that. It really doesn’t add anything and they could’ve done it in a flashback, at which point there would’ve been some suspense in this movie about whether or not this kid is emotionally unstable or just looking for attention or if there really is something going on there. So boo. And because of that, there was not only no suspense, but the movie really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. At one point, after we now know that there is something awful going on, instead of the entire family leaving, they stay! So I mean the idea of a motel would’ve ruined the entire plot. Having said that, Bailee Madison, from Bridge to Terabithia, is an attractive actress who’s terrifically good at crying. Katie Holmes doesn’t have much to do in this but she does it effectively. Guy Pearce is always fun to watch, but the movie doesn’t really scare you very much as much as sort of irritates you. So I give it two stars.