Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

( 2 )

Overview

Ranking with Dan Curtis' Trilogy of Terror as one of the spookiest made-for-TV horror films of the 1970's, this atmospheric monster chiller stars Kim Darby and Jim Hutton as a comfortable, reasonably happy young couple who inherit the archetypal "Old Dark House" from the wife Sally's deceased aunt. While renovating the creepy mansion, they enter a previously-sealed room, which features a securely bricked-up fireplace. Despite the insistence of a local contractor My Three Sons' William Demarest that they leave the...
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DVD (Remastered / Special Edition)
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Overview

Ranking with Dan Curtis' Trilogy of Terror as one of the spookiest made-for-TV horror films of the 1970's, this atmospheric monster chiller stars Kim Darby and Jim Hutton as a comfortable, reasonably happy young couple who inherit the archetypal "Old Dark House" from the wife Sally's deceased aunt. While renovating the creepy mansion, they enter a previously-sealed room, which features a securely bricked-up fireplace. Despite the insistence of a local contractor My Three Sons' William Demarest that they leave the room undisturbed, Sally's husband manages to open the flue, releasing a horde of shriveled mini-monsters imprisoned there for decades. The little demons immediately fixate their malevolent attention on Sally in an effort to claim her soul, a mission which can only be averted by the love of her husband -- which, in light of his self-centered careerism, means poor Sally's pretty much on her own. Director John Newland manages to pull off this one-note premise with some effective, frightening scenes -- especially when he chooses to show as little of the goofy-looking monsters as possible -- but it's hard to sustain this level of suspense for a full 90 minutes.
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Special Features

Audio commentary by Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton (Dread Central), screenwriter Jeffrey Reddick (Final Destination, Day of the Dead) and Sean Abley (Fangoria)
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This vintage t.v. chiller remains a potent little fright-fest. The enduring potency of Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark comes from a few important things. The first is Nigel McKiand's script: he keeps the storyline simple and direct, building it around nicely-drawn characterizations and steadily ratcheting up the tension throughout the story. The second is the impressive level of commitment to the material in its performances. Kim Darby and Jim Hutton create a believable portrait of a newlywed relationship that is still trying to find its footing and their convincing rapport helps ground the story, even when it is pushing into Twilight Zone/Night Gallery-type territory. The third and most important element is John Newland's tense, skillful direction. Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark is the kind of story that could have come off as silly if directed in the wrong style but Newland makes all the right choices: he plays the story totally straight and creates a genuinely grim and spooky atmosphere from the film's opening frames. The latter element of his work is aided tremendously by an eerie musical score from Billy Goldenberg and Andrew Jackson's shadowy cinematography. In short, Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark is one of the most memorable made-for-t.v. horror films and well worth a look to genre fans.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/23/2011
  • UPC: 883316290521
  • Original Release: 1973
  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Remastered / Special Edition
  • Time: 1:14:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 10,013

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Barbara Anderson Joan
Pedro Armendariz Jr. Francisco Perez
Robert Cleaves Doctor
William Demarest Harris
Jim Hutton Alex Farnham
Kim Darby Sally Farnham
Lesley Woods Ethel
Sterling Swanson Policeman
J.H. Lawrence George
William Sylvester Tom
Don Mallon Bob
Celia Kaye Anne
Ted Adams Swanson Bartender
Felix Silla Creature
Tamara de Treaux Creature
Patty Maloney Creature
Ethel St. Clair Party Guest
Monika Henreid Party Guest
Robert Priest Party Guest
Technical Credits
John Newland Director
Allen S. Epstein Producer
Billy Goldenberg Score Composer
Ed Graves Production Designer
Andrew Jackson Cinematographer
Neil T. Maffeo Associate Producer
Michael McCroskey Editor
Nigel McKeand Screenwriter
Lee Rich Executive Producer
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
   Play
   Audio Commentary
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Creepy

    Yeah this was one creepy movie with an even creepier ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 24, 2011

    This movie was very creepy!

    I saw it on TV when it first came out many years ago. It scared the you-know-what out of me; back then TV movies were pretty low-key in the scare department, but NOT THIS ONE! If you're afraid of the dark and others believe your fears to be imaginary, you'll relate! I've never forgotten this movie and was delighted to find it on DVD. And guess what? It scared me A LOT, all over again!! This movie does not contain bloody horror. It's just a good scary tale.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews