Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)

A young girl, her father and his new girlfriend discover creatures in their new home. It soon becomes apparent that the creatures don’t want to befriend the little girl but harass with the intent of killing her.

 1973’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark TV movie aside this is a creepy, stylish looking but sterile chiller directed by Troy Nixey. It starts off very Gothic and dramatised with a Hammer Horror, Tales from the Crypt looking prologue which quickly becomes an evil tooth fairy yarn.

The sets, the house and the grounds of the home are spectacular, with a ghostly atmosphere however the exterior is sorely underused. The excellent Guy Pearce struggles with the basic script and appears to go through the motions of a dismissive then concerned father, Katie Holmes looks more comfortable especially when acting alongside little Bailee Madison as Sally.

Reminciant of Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye (1985) while the effects are well executed they are nothing more than mini rat looking Gremlins (that lack comedy) with eerie whispering voices. After a few tension building scenes in the dark, in a bedroom, cellar or bathroom it soon become a little tedious. Ultimately Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins screenplay is an attractive drawn out Twilight Zone / Creep Show episode with a budget.

It looks great, has its creepy moments but there’s not enough originality or substance to equal the likes of Pan Labyrinth or a generic mysterious house flick.

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