Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

( 1 )

Overview

A young girl inadvertently unleashes a race of ancient monsters while exploring her father's 19th century mansion in this horror remake written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins, and directed by newcomer Troy Nixey. Introverted Sally Hurst Bailee Madison has just moved in with her father, Alex Guy Pearce, and his girlfriend, Kim Katie Holmes, when she realizes that their sprawling estate holds its fair share of secrets. Descending into the depths of the house, Sally gains access to a secret lower level ...
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Overview

A young girl inadvertently unleashes a race of ancient monsters while exploring her father's 19th century mansion in this horror remake written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins, and directed by newcomer Troy Nixey. Introverted Sally Hurst Bailee Madison has just moved in with her father, Alex Guy Pearce, and his girlfriend, Kim Katie Holmes, when she realizes that their sprawling estate holds its fair share of secrets. Descending into the depths of the house, Sally gains access to a secret lower level that has lain undisturbed for nearly a century, when the original builder vanished without a trace. When Sally accidentally opens the gateway that kept the creatures locked up tight, she realizes that in order to prevent them from destroying her family she must convince her skeptical father that monsters really exist.
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Special Features

Don't Be Afraid... Three-Part Making-Of Documentary:; The Story; Blackwood's Mansion; The Creatures; Conceptual Art Gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
The "old dark house" horror film seems to be something of a lost art form, though it still seems that every few years a filmmaker takes us on a walk across those creaky old floorboards and permits us a terrifying glimpse into the shadows cast across those crumbling old walls. In 2007, producer Guillermo del Toro and director Juan Antonio Bayona did just that with The Orphanage, a tragic, gorgeously shot horror film with the power to rend hearts. Flash forward to 2011, and del Toro has teamed with yet another first-time feature filmmaker to deliver Don't Be Afraid of the Dark -- a remake of a 1973 made-for-television horror movie that kept unsuspecting television viewers comfortably paralyzed with fear on their La-Z-Boys. Introverted Sally Hurst (Bailee Madison) has just moved in with her father, Alex (Guy Pearce), and his girlfriend, Kim (Katie Holmes), when she realizes that their sprawling country manor holds its fair share of secrets. Descending into the depths of the house, Sally discovers a secret lower level that has lain undisturbed since the original builder and his young son vanished without a trace nearly a century ago. When Sally accidentally opens the gateway that has kept the creatures locked up tight, she realizes that in order to prevent them from dragging her family down into the darkness, she must convince her skeptical father that monsters really exist. Imbued with the seductive gothic atmosphere that's a hallmark of this particular horror subgenre, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark displays a chilling air of ageless malevolence that grows more suffocating and foreboding with each passing scene. In his previous films, del Toro displayed a masterful talent for tapping into childhood fears and bringing them to life with an artistry that's powerful enough to affect even those who are decades removed from that magical period when anything seems possible. There's a point in the life of every child when fear has yet to become tangible -- that elusive, naïve age when we haven't yet learned just how horrible things can truly get for ourselves and our loved ones, and when anomalies such as strange whispering voices calling out our name are still simple points of curiosity, rather than harbingers of pure terror. Together with co-screenwriter Matthew Robbins (Dragonslayer, Mimic), the acclaimed Spanish filmmaker guides us into the world of a sad little girl whose insatiable curiosity and unstable family life compel her to answer the voices that would make others flee in fear. As viewers, we know that the things beckoning to Sally from the darkened corners of her home have horrible intentions, and as we watch Sally's inquisitiveness plunge her family into peril, del Toro and Robbins methodically coil the tension while offering tantalizing glimpses of the things that skitter just outside our field of vision and our perception of reality. Director Troy Nixey, meanwhile, displays a remarkable sense of assurance as a first-time feature filmmaker. Not only for the way he works with veteran cinematographer Oliver Stapleton to give Don't Be Afraid of the Dark a richly atmospheric, almost timeless look, but also for his skill in coaxing a genuinely convincing performance from young lead Bailee Madison, who manages the commendable feat of balancing preadolescent cynicism and vulnerability in a way that doesn't come off as completely contrived. Working with a mix of strings and horns that recall the classic horror scores of decades past, composers Marco Beltrami (The Eye, The Hurt Locker) and Buck Sanders (Hellboy, Blade II) find the perfect notes to accentuate the eerie proceedings unfolding onscreen. In the end, the only thing that keeps Don't Be Afraid of the Dark from soaring to the enchanting heights of del Toro's most affecting films as a director (The Devil's Backbone, Pan's Labyrinth) and producer (The Orphanage) is the distinctive lack of genuine heart in the screenplay. His best movies have succeeded not just in their ability to tap into our most basic and archaic nightmares, but our emotions of love and loss as well. Sometimes all we're looking for in a horror film is a few good scares, though, and if that's what you seek from Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, odds are you'll get your fair share of goose bumps.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/3/2012
  • UPC: 043396392045
  • Original Release: 2011
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:39:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 45,198

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Guy Pearce Alex
Katie Holmes Kim
Bailee Madison Sally
Jack Thompson Harris
Alan Dale Charles Jacoby
Julia Blake Mrs. Underhill
Trudy Hellier Evelyn Jacoby
Terry Kenwrick Bill
Abbe Holmes Voice Only
Garry McDonald Blackwood
Bruce Gleeson Buggy Driver
Edwina Ritchard Housekeeper
Carolyn Shakespeare-Allen Airport Cart Driver
David Tocci Workman
Lance Drisdale Policeman
Nicholas Bell Psychiatrist
Libby Gott Nurse
James Mackay Librarian
Emelia Burns Caterer
Grant Piro Voice Only
Todd MacDonald Voice Only
Angus Smallwood Voice Only
Dylan Young Voice Only
Guillermo del Toro Voice Only
Technical Credits
Troy Nixey Director
Marko Anttonen Set Decoration/Design
Marco Beltrami Score Composer
Jill Bilcock Editor
Wendy Chuck Costumes/Costume Designer
Nick Dare Set Decoration/Design
KNB EFX Makeup Special Effects
Roger Ford Production Designer
Guillermo del Toro Producer, Screenwriter
William Horberg Executive Producer
Mark Johnson Producer
Stephen Jones Executive Producer
Venus Kanani Casting
Rob Mackenzie Sound/Sound Designer
Nick Nunziata Associate Producer
Toby Pease Asst. Director
Matthew Robbins Screenwriter
Angelo Sahin Special Effects Supervisor
Buck Sanders Score Composer
Oliver Stapleton Cinematographer
Lucinda Thomson Art Director
Tom Williams Executive Producer
Mary Vernieu Casting
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Customer Reviews

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