Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Presented by GUILLERMO DEL TORO is what it says as the film begins, and really, it's no lie, you can feel him all over this movie from the creature design to the overall whimsical feel. But, the title says "Don't be Afraid of the Dark," but what they really mean is 'don't come see this movie and expect to be scared.' It's frustrating when there are only a few horror movies released per week and then they mismarket it all to hell.

Don't come see this movie, okay?
First, the movie has a phenomenal set. It takes place in a house that is being renovated by a family of Alex (Guy Pierce) and Kim (Katie Holmes) in hopes of making the cover of Architectural Digest. Then Alex's daughter Sally (Bailee Madison) comes to join them in the house. They soon find out that there is something semi sinister living in the basement. It's not one creature, it's many, and not only do they beckon from the basement, they crave children's teeth.

I do too.
Second, this movie is for kids and people who don't like horror movies. It could easily be a PG-13 movie and could have made twice as much money with a lower rating. It has quite a few plot holes and inconsistencies that take away from the atmosphere, that being said, I did enjoy some aspects of the film. There are some great scenes that I can't shake out of my memory. The house itself is beautiful, with a gorgeous garden area. It's a shame they didn't use it more to their advantage. The creepiest scenes were house induced. The least scary scenes were when you saw the little creatures who hid in the basement. But my biggest critique was that the story was inconsistent.

SPOILER ALERT: For example, the little gremlin creatures are supposed to crave children's teeth and that is why they are dangerous to the little girl, but wait, they are also dangerous to grownups, because they are trying to replenish their numbers. Double Threat! So why is it that in a scene where the little creatures are creeping around her room, they leave a silver dollar under her pillow instead of just trying to steal her away then? Are they dangerous or not? Are they capable of cuddling? Are they capable of danger? I guess, if you consider getting poked with some scissors dangerous.

Why would you want to hurt me?

Because cute things are dangerous.

There were some things that are really awesome in this film. The set is gorgeous. I wanted to keep wandering through the gardens, but instead we are secluded to the house, which is old, but not scary in itself. Instead, we are limited to the little creatures being our only source of spooks. Because of this, I found the movie completely frustrating. The pieces are there, the acting is pretty darn good, the idea is chilling, but nothing comes together perfectly. The reliefs from the rising tension are too great. It's just one of those horror films that doesn't know what to do with it's set up.

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