Something ancient and evil is alive in the darkness beneath the Blackwood Mansion.
When young Sally Hurst (Bailee Madison) arrives in Rhode Island to visit her father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) at the Victorian mansion they are restoring, she already feels like an outsider and her ornate new home seems a cold and unwanted prison.
The Dark. Many people are afraid of it, young and old. I guess it comes down to not knowing what lurks in the darkness. When your imagination runs wild and puts all sorts of creepy connotations into your head, especially if you are not in a familiar environment. Without knowing much about the film when walking into the theatre last night, I did like the look of the Poster and was hoping not to be disappointed by this horror. Sadly, I would have to inform that it wasn’t very good at all.
The story begins with a brief introduction to our three main characters that we follow for the full duration of the film. They don’t come off very likable at all and act rather doll drum. With most horrors we hope to connect with the cast somehow, to know what they are feeling, but it doesn’t come across at all in this movie. The acting felt rather silly and very bland at times, with no emphasis at all to what they are saying or who they are portraying. It made me wonder why they were cast the way they were as in some scenes I was left scratching my head thinking they are either on the wrong set or movie all together, it just didn’t fit. When they do finally decide to “wake up” and be who they should’ve been throughout the film, it’s a little too late. As with the acting, it does go at a rather slow pace and I was yawning about half way in (and no I wasn’t tired), it really is a slow build up and I couldn’t help but think where they were trying to go with the story or why they weren’t getting a move on with it.
I did like that they introduced what we should have been afraid of quite early into the film, but I actually think that it may have been a hindrance to the film. As in certain horrors like this, they try to build tension and make you wonder what could be lurking in the dark or trying to scare us, so by showing us early in the film what they looked like, you sort of expected what was coming. I thought they looked kind of cool though. In terms of scares and gore, we get next to nothing, which is quite a pity. Almost like a double negative for the film.
The majority of the film takes place at an old mansion that is being restored. So we get a bit of new mixed with the old, which was cool. The house itself and garden was rather picturesque at times, but didn’t feel eerie or ominous at all, which I was bummed about. There’s nothing better than a huge scary mansion, only for it to be as un-spooky as possible. It’s really sad that a film with a title of being afraid of the dark didn’t use the darkness at all to its benefit, well apart from flipping off a light switch or knocking over a lamp shade, which is pathetic.
At the end of the day, “Don’t Be Afraid of this Movie” I mean, the Dark, is not scary at all. I could only imagine someone really young being scared of this film. Even the young girl in the movie doesn’t seem too frightened at all until a certain part in the movie. If I had to summarize this film into one word it would be, YAWN. It hasn’t done very well at all, grossing $31Million at the box office, slightly over its budget of $25Million. It is a remake of a 1973 direct-to-TV horror and the Directors debut, so that could have contributed as to why the film played out the way it did.
I would only recommend this film if, you want a really light horror, are fans of horror enough to want your own opinion or have nothing better to watch.
|Title:||Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)|
|Leading Cast:||Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison, Garry McDonald, Edwina Ritchard, Jack Thompson, Julia Blake, Nicholas Bell|
|Writer:||Guillermo del Toro. Matthew Robbins|
|Studio:||Miramax Films, Gran Via, Tequila Gang|
|Genre:||Fantasy, Horror, Thriller|
|Running Time:||99 Minutes|
|Release Date:||9 December (South Africa)|