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Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 101 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Sally Hurst, a lonely, withdrawn child, has just arrived in Rhode Island to live with her father Alex and his new girlfriend Kim at the 19th-century mansion they are restoring. While exploring the sprawling estate, the young girl discovers a hidden basement, undisturbed since the strange disappearance of the mansion's builder a century ago. When Sally unwittingly lets loose a race of ancient, dark-dwelling creatures who conspire to drag her down into the mysterious house’s bottomless depths, she must convince Alex and Kim that it's not a fantasy—before the evil lurking in the dark consumes them all. (Miramax Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 35
  2. Negative: 3 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 24, 2011
    88
    This is a very good haunted house film. It milks our frustration deliciously.
  2. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Aug 25, 2011
    75
    Feels retro in all the right ways; it's a bump-in-the-night tale that, if not for the occasional glimpse of a cellphone or reference to Adderall, could have been told decades ago.
  3. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Aug 26, 2011
    67
    Largely a cut-and-paste affair, although useful for that very reason; it provides a glaring reminder that scary movies have evolved, both in terms of style and expectations, but the evolution isn't worth the effort.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 24, 2011
    58
    Curled up at home with the lights off and DVD player running, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark might be passable fun. Spread over a movie screen, the film's modest ambition gets dwarfed by expectations, especially after paying for a ticket.
  5. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Aug 25, 2011
    50
    None of Mr. del Toro's classy fiddling, however, can improve on the original's marvelously economical scares. But if you've always wondered what the tooth fairies want with all those teeth - or if you just need proof that a terrified Katie Holmes looks not that different from the everyday version - this is the movie for you.
  6. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Aug 25, 2011
    50
    A big part of the problem comes in the casting. Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes - the kind of odd pairing of actors that comes only after your first and second choices have passed - are unconvincing and curiously unsympathetic as the architect Alex and his girlfriend.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Aug 22, 2011
    38
    Does Katie Holmes's hubby get script-doctoring rights even on her own film projects? That would explain why Troy Nixey's inane Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro, at times suggests an anti-Rx PSA.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 37
  2. Negative: 9 out of 37
  1. Oct 13, 2011
    10
    creepy and atmospheric
  2. Feb 3, 2012
    8
    Great movie! It was fun to watch. It wasn't real scary but a lot of fun to watch. I love those little guys killing and running around. Its a movie that i can watch over and over . They should make a part two and have those little guys killing more people. Expand
  3. Sep 4, 2011
    7
    If it wasn't for Madison's attention-grabbing performance, I would have walked out of the theater and demanded my money back. The mix of strongly-undeveloped characters and a handful of haunted-house-flick cliches will leave you questioning Toro's "genius." I didn't see his "genius" here...just a bunch of garden gnomes. Expand
  4. Feb 8, 2012
    5
    It definitely was a well made movie I just didn't like what it was about. Little creatures that live there that eat little children's teeth? It seemed dumb to me and a few parts would've been different if some of the characters used more than 1% of their brain. Expand
  5. Sep 22, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. After a long wait I was happy to finally happy to see this movie, the tralier was probably the scariest trailer I had ever seen. I had not seen the original so I had no clue what it was about. It started off well enough, but I just didn't dig these little creatures running around this house. It is a typical haunted house movie but I would like to have had more variety in terms of "what" was haunting the house, not just little creatures. They were ugly and scary but it kind of lost it's scare factor over the course of the movie, for me anyways. Expand
  6. Feb 11, 2012
    4
    There's no to worry about, just bring your flashlight or polaroid if you afraid of the dark. I believe it should be great if the movie could gorier. Guillermo Del Toro seems not 'sold' Expand
  7. Aug 27, 2011
    1
    I felt compelled to write this review to warn anyone who is thinking about spending their hard earned money and time watching this film. Absolutely terrible. You have been warned, this movie sucks, really, really, really, really, bad. I have no idea what the critics saw in this film. There was absolutely nothing good about it. Expand

See all 37 User Reviews

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