Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark (2010) Review

This film is great if you want to scare kids but past that it’s not going to put fear into any horror fans. The original was better at that, or I was myself younger when I watched it. Yes that makes sense. The story is just as good and it is made really well, the acting is good and visuals were also very well done. Couple of things to say though, if your kid is afraid of the dark, for the love of god do not show them this (unless your kids are terrible). Also if you at any point even remotely think that your child maybe right about the monsters under her bed, you then take them and yourself to a hotel and slowly and calmly BURN YOUR HOUSE TO THE GROUND! Just a suggestion though (I am not getting sued).

While architect Alex Hurst (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) restore their Gothic mansion’s period interiors, Alex’s young daughter Sally (Bailee Madison) can investigate the macabre history and dark corners of the estate. Spurring Sally’s investigation are the voices-rasping whispers who call out to her from the basement, who promise her understanding and friendship, who are so very hungry and would like to be set free. When Sally gives in to her curiosity, she opens a gateway into a hellish underworld from which an army of beady-eyed, sharp-clawed monsters emerge, small in size but endless in number. Confronted with the horror that now threatens to taker her life and destroy her family, Sally desperately tries to warn the whole house, but there’s just one problem: no one believes her.

Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended.

Story: 70%       Acting: 80%      Visuals: 70%      Dialogue: 65%

The Scares: 35%      Style/Sound: 50%      Characters: 70%

Total: 62%

To start off let’s talk about the acting. The acting was actually really good, the cast is surprisingly star studded for this type of film and I think Guy Pierce might have been a fan of the original. My favourite of the cast would be Bailee Madison who plays the little girl Sally, she really does well in this film and she has done well in a few other films I have noticed so hopefully she will have a good career ahead of her. Or she will crash and burn like most of the child actors before her. Anyway Guy piece plays the neglective parent well but I actually preferred the interesting relationship that developed between Katie Holmes’s character Kim and Sally. Their relationship was really interesting as Sally’s mother abandoned her she ended up having more in common with her and became rather attached; I think it made the course of events more believable and that I approve of.

So let’s talk about something more fun like the visuals. The Visual Effects in this film were really good, an improvement on the original obviously as expected since the originals 70’s release. I think the problem came from showing the creatures too much, a problem I was not expecting from a film about creatures hiding in the dark and taking children, which is literally the whole point of this horror film, what you can’t see running around a dark mansion hunting children. The suspense just flies straight out of the window when you can see the freakin things as clear as day. In terms of why it wasn’t scary I would say that not only was the creatures shown off too much but that there wasn’t much violence and shockingly only two deaths in a near two hour horror film. Two deaths! I expect towns to be slaughtered. MASSACRE ALL THE INNOCENTS!!!!

Must Watch Trailer:

The best reviews I have found would be these “Dont Be Afraid Of The Dark will remind viewers to tuck their feet in at night but is unlikely to terrify any hardcore horror fans.” Film4. Very true, being paranoid doesn’t help either and I am going to be wrapped up tight tonight. Also “A satisfying, well-crafted supernatural horror movie, refreshingly retro in its Gothic trappings. It won’t traumatise a generation, but it certainly delivers the shivers.” Empire Magazine. You won’t get many horror films made like this anymore so for that it is a unique film and very unlikely to resurface. My favourite scene would have to be one scene when the gardener sounded like the old guy off Pet Cemetery (you know the line “sometimes dead is better”) but then it turned out to be nothing so now I am sad.

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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films!

14 responses to “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark (2010) Review”

  1. Novroz says :

    I watched this recently, I like the ending but you are isn’t scary at all.

    I like pierce and that girl who plays…but I really dislike that tom cruise wife…i mean ex wife


  2. The Focused Filmographer says :

    Great review Tim and I agree. It is often the downfall of scary movies when they reveal or overuse the monster. I’m not a fan of Katie Holmes and this movie didn’t make me like her any more. I also was very disappointed in the end. yep, it’s decent to scare kids (who wants to do that? ha), but other than that…it’s a big skip


  3. Emma says :

    I know not much happens but I loved the decor of the house. Setting was stunning. Agree – visuals were really really good.


  4. atothewr says :

    Nice review. I kind of thought the same way you did on this one.

    Here’s my review on it:


  5. jmount43 says :

    Tim, I just wasn’t feeling it with this one. Good post, spot on.


  6. craft fear says :

    The scariest part of this movie was that freaky rotating night light. Those things are ALWAYS a bad idea.


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