Movie Review: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)
I had been thoroughly interested in this movie ever since I discovered that it was produced by Guillermo del Toro. I love Guillermo so much it’s almost creepy and I feel like I should get a restraining order just because of what I might do to him if I ever see him.
Needless to say, while I didn’t love it, I very much enjoyed it.
It certainly has that fantastical, very otherworldy Guillermo touch that I adore, especially the garden and the mural/drawings and the fact that the fairfolk were, in reality, very vile, hideous little creatures despite how they’re depicted in modern media. I was saying all throughout the movie (which I had just watched with my cousins about an hour ago) that it was all in Sally’s head, that none of it was actually happening and she was doing everything to herself, and I felt that it would have been a great plot twist in itself, but it’s just not Guillermo, you know? (Well, that depends on which perspective you want to view the entirety of Pan’s Labyrinth.) Anyway, I felt it was a very light horror movie because of the very little scares it had and that the audience wasn’t given enough time to warm up and be terrified of these creatures (they were seen way too frequently for my tastes to be mysterious and overall scary). It’s still very potent nightmare fuel though, I won’t lie, and I will most likely dig up an old nightlight just in case, if I ever sleep at all tonight. Another thing to add is it’s one of those "parents are oblivious until something bad happens and they finally believe that their daughter isn’t really crazy after all" movies, and, to be honest, I really wanted to do something very bad to the father about halfway through.
Bailee Madison shone in this movie, bless her heart. I really enjoyed watching her. Katie Holmes surprised me because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie of hers (I watched clips of the Batman movie she was in but that’s about it), but she was actually pretty good, and the scream she does at the end was one of the best screams I’ve heard in recent horror movie history.
To wrap it up, while it had its shortcomings, it was still very enjoyable to watch. If you want a solid story, good acting, an endearing little girl, and fairytale creatures (which sells any movie for me), then you won’t waste your time on this movie.
3.5 STARS OUT OF 5