Don't be Afraid of the Dark
Unimaginitive reboot of 70s cult horror film
Looming large in the childhood memories of many US pop culture aficionados, the original Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was a minor but effective 1973 TV movie in which Jim Hutton and Kim Darby played a couple menaced by demonic creatures in a haunted house.
Producer Guillermo del Toro focuses instead on Sally (Bailee Madison), the daughter of couple Kim (Katie Holmes) and Alex (Guy Pearce), who are sprucing up the interior of their new home. Sally finds a furnace in the basement where she believes monstrous sprites are living, but struggles to convince her parents that the creatures exist.
In re-imagining Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, del Toro pays tribute to a film he clearly loves, but with first-time director Troy Nixey seemingly directing by proxy, there’s little sign of the style or imagination of Pan’s Labyrinth or The Devil’s Backbone. Both versions of Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark hark back to HP Lovecraft’s story The Rats in The Walls, but comic book artist Nixey’s CGI creations are somewhat cheesier that Lovecraft’s many-splendoured, but far nastier creations.
Selected release from Fri 7 Oct.