A young boy comes to fear that his blind mother may become the next victim of a serial killer in this complex psychological thriller. Unfolding at first as a traditional suspense tale, the film follows the terrified boy's attempts to determine the killer's identity, a task his policeman father has failed to achieve. Things take a more provocative and puzzling turn when the boy's penchant for fantasy is revealed, forcing the audience to question whether what has been shown has been real or merely a product of the boy's imagination. As a result, much of the anxiety in Afraid of the Dark emerges not from the violent shocks, but from the uncertain reality and the tantalizing, disturbing hints of the child's psychology. This purposeful ambiguity may strike some viewers as confusing and alienating, despite the film's assured performances and striking imagery.