Just got back from the local theater, where I took in Guillermo del Toro's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. So here's what I thought!
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark begins with a backstory of a house where a famous wildlife artist named Emerson Blackwood lost his son, and eventually his own mind and life.
Many years later, a young architect, his girlfriend (an interior designer) and his young daughter move into the famous house to restore it, and kick start his career.
His daughter has a few problems, and the three of them begin an uncomfortable coexistence in the old mansion.
Fairly soon after moving in, the little girl discovers a hidden basement and begins hearing little voices beckoning her to come to the basement to set them free, so they can be friends. This plays on the little girl's loneliness and isolation so she complies. Unfortunately, she quickly discovers the voices belong to little creatures that are quite wicked, and are literally out to get her.
First off this film is beautifully shot. The way the house is represented really make you feel familiar with it quickly. The acting by everyone is solid, and the characters are well represented. Bailey Madison does an excellent job portraying Sally, the sad, lonesome little girl.
I felt the script was well thought out, as Sally's isolation makes her initial relationship with the voices seem plausible. With that, the little monsters are great! They are revealed with near perfect pacing, and pack a couple of really nice jump scenes. One of these jump scenes brought to mind one in The Sixth Sense, where the boy is in the little fort in his room, only a little more claustrophobic.
While it is not an overly gory movie, the effects are done nicely, and a scene near the end with Katie Holmes made me cringe. And then there is what happens to Mr. Harris! One more thing I really appreciated, was that there was no silly comic relief in this movie. So few are made that don't feel it necessary to give the audience a break.
There some implausible things, but nothing so glaring as to detract from the enjoyment of the show.
I enjoyed this movie alot, and was never bored. I don't think you will be either. I give it a 7.5 out of 10, and recommend you go out and see it! Let me know what you think!
One side note: Don't miss the Terror Troop podcast in the post underneath this one!