Let’s get this out of the way first; Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark does not deserve its “R” rating. Not at all. And after seeing the movie, I had to do a little research to find out why it even got the “R” rating. And here is what Del Toro said about the movie in this article:
This picture, which was developed with Miramax but in the wake of the division’s closure will be released by Disney, was rated R despite filmmaker ambitions to the contrary. “We originally thought we could shoot it as PG-13 without compromising the scares,” Del Toro said. And then the MPAA came back and gave us a badge of honor. They gave us an R for ‘pervasive scariness.’ We asked them if there’s anything we could do, and they said, why ruin a perfectly scary movie?”However, there are very few scares in this movie. In fact DBAOTD is such a slow burn trying to build tension; it becomes more agonizing than suspenseful. Honestly, there is nothing to be afraid of in this movie.
sadly she never dresses like this in it.
Like all kids, Sally ignores the restriction of going to the basement by her father and Kim, unbolts the furnace, and provides the creatures of this movie their freedom to terrorize.
This is especially disappointing giving Del Toro’s work for creatures. His angel-of-death creature in Hellboy 2 is truly terrifying, and that’s not even a horror movie. Hell, that’s just one character in one movie that has hundreds…
That really is the biggest problem with the film; the gremlins never really give a sense that they are a threat most of the movie.
And when you get the feeling something terrible will actually happen, it doesn’t. There is no scare or horror in the movie until the very final last five minutes of the movie, which actually turns out to be pretty cool, but ultimately unsatisfying as you never see the creature’s lair or explore really anything into what they are except for one short scene in a library.
The movie isn’t without some merit though. Pearce and Holmes do a good enough job expanding their characters, and the flashback at the beginning of the movie and the final scenes are pretty good. But, that’s like getting a double-decker sandwich with the bread on both ends being the tasty part and the meat filler.