Wednesday, August 31, 2011
DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK
DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (2010)
Directed by Troy Nixey
Katie Holmes - Kim
Guy Pearce - Alex
Bailee Madison - Sally
A young girl sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend discovers creatures in her new home who want to claim her as one of their own.
As this is the last review this month that was full of otherworldly wonders and the creeping unknown, Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark came out at a perfect point in time. No, I didn't plan this month around this film, it was just pure coincidence as I thought that this movie was never going to be released as it is a relatively unknown property, except for fans of del Toro and all things Lovecraft. But I'm not complaining that it came out this month as it is a perfect to go with all the reviews this month.
The acting in this film is just amazing from start to finish. The movie centers around Sally played by Bailee Madison and her being sent to live with her father from what basically is a lackluster mother that doesn't want to deal with her. This is played wonderfully by Madison as being withdrawn and just wanting to be left alone. Yet she starts to really shine as her character starts to open up to her her father's girlfriend Kim, played by Katie Holmes. Now Holmes I've always ran hot or cold on with her acting, yet to me in this one her acting seems to have taken on another aspect that wasn't really there before. This might be because her character, Kim, is so well developed or she's finally found what was really missing before. As for Guy Pearce as Alex, even though he did a decent job acting, the character he plays is too ignorant until it's almost to late to save anyone, including himself. I hate to say Alex got what he deserved, but this is exactly what happened by trying to ignore the obvious and by seeing his daughter as a burden instead of his family.
The look of the film is just remarkable as is the setting. The house is the main entity and can be considered a character in and of itself as it is never fully explored which adds a tension to the film as there are so many unknowns and dark corners that you never really know what is lurking there. I can can say that with ease that this film is and isn't really a horror movie as it's more of a dark fantasy. The horror really isn't there that much but the terror is. This is thanks to the fairies which stalk young Sally as they need to replenish their numbers every time the portal is opened where they dwell. One thing I do wish this movie did was show exactly where the fairies live as it would have opened up a whole other world for the film. But I understand why they didn't go through with this plot thread as it would have taken away from the main point of the film which is the human interaction between the characters.
I've yet to see a film that has del Toro's name attached to it that I didn't like, even the direct to video animated features, as well as his producing on Kung Fu Panda 2, you can tell when his touches were present. Yet with this his writing was just spectacular. Credit also has to be shared with Troy Nixey as this, even though is his first feature film, he shows amazing ability and confidence. Though how much of this was due to del Toro himself I cannot say, except the beginning scene in the film where del Toro basically told Nixey to do what he said, Nixey does such a fine job that I was quite surprised by what was put on screen. To me this is the way to end the summer movie season where most wide release horror movies are not horror, but a cry to watch me, while Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark isn't afraid to do what it wants and doesn't care that it doesn't follow the new rules for horror movies. Also it is a perfect way to end this month of all Lovecraftian movie reviews!
Even though it's not shown, Kim's loss of humanity. If you stay and really listen you'll understand why.
We have all the time in the world.
This is Troy Nixey's first full length feature film.
The picture was made to be released as a PG-13 rated movie. Yet, when it went to the MPAA for rating, it came out with a R. The filmmakers then went to ask how they can make it PG-13, at which the film rating board told them, "Why ruin a perfectly scary movie!"
The film is a remake of a 1970's made for TV movie that aired on ABC in 1973.