Plot: 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.
Director: Troy Nixey
Writers: Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), Matthew Robbins (screenplay)
Stars: Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison
I have a strange feeling the ghost of Lovecraft is following me. I go on trivia site for this one and it says "Appropriately set in Providence, RI as that was the home of H.P. Lovecraft who wrote the story "The Rats in the Walls" which apparently inspired this film.". I start watching "Masters of Horror" and the second episode is based on his story. I read a little about Alien design by Giger and guess what? He had an artwork published in...book called "Necronomicon". That's all on the side note but I assure you - this is way more scary than the film I'm reviewing here.
It's 2012. You don't expect cheesy CGI anymore. But the CGI in "Don't be Afraid of the Dark" is so bad and laughable it actually manages to ruin the movie. Things aren't perfect before we actually see the monsters as Pearce, Holmes and Madison are just horribly miscast as ensemble and have no chemistry together, despite efforts on Holmes's part. But there is climate, suspense, potential for a good movie here. And then when we finally see what it is that endangers protagonists...it all goes to hell.
Things get even worse when the back story of the creatures is revealed - this must be the first time in a very long time when upon hearing about something I simply imagined it happening and laughed for minutes - the story incorporates Tooth Fairy legend and one character actually says that the creatures signed a treaty...with the Pope in Vatican to get teeth in exchange for silver. Can you imagine these things walking into Vatican? I can and it's hilarious.
The worst thing is that with all of that it really could be a good horror movie - there is plenty of suspenseful scenes here, the setting is from a dream - creepy mansion, dark garden - the scenes where little girl wanders around there reminded me of "Secret Garden", the fact the lights keep going off, scary basement...if only they didn't showed terribly made creatures...it's been so many years since "Rosemary's Baby" and people are still freaked out about the baby because we never saw it and what we imagine is almost always worse than reality. If only they showed shadows, characters screaming and never revealed the monsters it would be very scary.
There are some ingenious moments here - the scene where Sally is frantically snapping pictures in the study, the scene in the bathroom or the moment seen in trailer, where Sally is looking under covers. Unfortunately creatures appearance and the fact they actually talk and the way they talk ruins everything. The ending is also awful - stupid twist thrown right in the end that actually devoid the film of the strongest emotional bond it created between two characters in the story.