Bring Back That Scary Feeling: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Tries

Die-hard horror fans (including this one) generally spend their adult lives hoping to re-experience the fear and awe they derived from the scary flicks they saw as kids. Which may be why Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro was inspired to co-produce and write (with Matthew Robbins) a remake of the legendarily creepy 1973 TV-movie Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, which del Toro reportedly saw at age nine (and this reviewer at age 10). In this visually lush updating, directed by newcomer Troy Nixey, nine-year-old Sally (Bailee Madison) is sent by her mother to live with her architect father (Guy Pearce) and his interior-decorator girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in an old Rhode Island mansion they're restoring. In a flash, Sally is compelled by whispery voices to open up a firmly bolted fireplace ash pit—big mistake—thereby setting free small, demonic creatures that feed on the teeth of dead children, a trait that is a nicely nasty new touch (the TV-movie was vague about their motivations, beyond ordinary demon meanness). Just because they can, the creatures begin taunting and frightening Sally, who puts up a good fight. If the grand finale isn't as resonantly scary as the original's, maybe that's just because, try though we might, we're no longer impressionable kids.

 
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7 comments
maddy
maddy

Fraud among organization ???It was stated that Friends of Firefighters claims to have counseling for firefighters,they don't claim they do. Don't know where you get your information from . Before making any clams you should back it up.As for making money on other people sorrows. I think the news meter make' s most of their money from that.

me
me

i believe that he isnt set out to make a so called "scary movie" people now a days believe that an extreme amount of blood and gore with little to no story is enough to call a horror film. i believe that this movie is of the creepy sort. such as shutter island even though that movie had little gore and nothing jumped out at you it still could send shivers down my spine.

Jessina
Jessina

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pisher
pisher

Or maybe because Del Toro can't make a scary movie to save his life--even The Devil's Backbone ultimately turned into a history lesson (and an interesting one, but righteous ghosts aren't scary ghosts). I love his imagination, but that's precisely why I don't want him going down the Tim Burton/Peter Jackson route, and giving us a revamped version of somebody else's ideas over and over again. There was no reason to remake a 70's TV movie. Honestly, he's got better things to do. Like even Hellboy 3 would have been a better thing to do.

unsean
unsean

I don't know if he's set out to do a purely 'scary' film. The Devil's Backbone was creepy and atmospheric, though I don't think of it necessarily as a horror film (though there was a ghost). Pan's Labyrinth was closer to what most of us would consider a horror/scary film, though perhaps from a less traditional angle, that of a fairy tale.

Though interestingly enough, the most horrifying thing about Pan's Labyrith were the monsters of the human variety; a message common to Mr. del Toro's films (particular the aforementioned Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone. I don't necessarily include Mimic because Guillermo del Toro suffered from the disease known as studiointerferencia).

I have no doubt that Guillermo del Toro CAN do a very, very scary movie, though I think that it could be argued that that wasn't primarily his goal with his early films–including Cronos, which seemed more concerned with the process of vampirism more the horrific effects of it often pictured in movies.

Now, if he were allowed to do At The Mountains Of Madness, I can almost promise you that he would bring the scary.

pisher
pisher

I think he's too specific--he doesn't leave anything to the imagination. With a 200 million dollar budget, he'll never make anything as scary as Paranormal Activity. He uses CGI very creatively--but CGI isn't scary. Because we all know it's fake.

unsean
unsean

Actually Guillermo del Toro uses CGI relatively lightly. In fact, I am unaware of any of his films being particularly CGI heavy (with the possible exception of Hellboy II: The Golden Army because what happened in that film (the Golden Army itself, the forest elemental, etc) could not have been done practically.

And Paranormal Activity wasn't scary. It had a few scary moments (like when the guy was flung through a doorway, into the camera), but as a whole, not really.

 

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