Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Image
Metascore
56

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

User Score
5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 115 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  • Summary: Sally Hurst, a lonely, withdrawn child, has just arrived in Rhode Island to live with her father Alex and his new girlfriend Kim at the 19th-century mansion they are restoring.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the sprawling estate, the young girl discovers a hidden basement, undisturbed since the strangeSally Hurst, a lonely, withdrawn child, has just arrived in Rhode Island to live with her father Alex and his new girlfriend Kim at the 19th-century mansion they are restoring.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

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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: 12 out of 39
  2. Negative: 9 out of 39
  1. Oct 13, 2011
    10
    creepy and atmospheric
  2. Feb 16, 2016
    8
    If the scares aren't all quite as effective as the rest of the film, then there's still plenty to tickle the nerves of a less jaded horrorIf the scares aren't all quite as effective as the rest of the film, then there's still plenty to tickle the nerves of a less jaded horror fan.

    Watch it here for free http://www.watchfree.to/watch-1eaab9-Dont-Be-Afraid-of-the-Dark-movie-online-free-putlocker.html
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  3. Jan 5, 2012
    7
    An effective, spooky horror film that does some pretty great things. The performances are all good, and the creatures are reasonablyAn effective, spooky horror film that does some pretty great things. The performances are all good, and the creatures are reasonably terrifying, without being too grotesque. Though this film is predictable at times, it succeeds in inducing a couple shivers down the spine. It hearkens back to two classic 80s horror films: "The Gate" and "Cat's Eye", and those horrified me as a child. I suspect this film will do the same for the current generation's younger viewers. Expand
  4. Jun 2, 2012
    5
    The very opening scene of the trailer made it clear that this was influenced (through production and screenplay) by Guillermo del Torro. ThisThe very opening scene of the trailer made it clear that this was influenced (through production and screenplay) by Guillermo del Torro. This film is rather beautiful visually with some great production design and good cinematography, but it reminds of "Pan's Labyrinth" to such an extent that this is a problem. They both have magic and children as their basis, with the difference that the Labyrinth is a much better film. The character of Sally is just so inconsistent and annoying at times - the way she behaves is almost implausible to believe. That's where the film goes into typical "horror" genre, with characters doing stupid choices for no real reason, but to put them in vulnerable positions. Also, the fact that one can see the little creatures kind of completely kills the fear the director managed to instill in the film's first 20-30 minutes. Yes, they're gross, but they look like little rats. They lose all their scariness, at least for me that was the effect. As I said, the production design is rather beautiful and that is pretty much the highlight of the film. So nice musical score, too, but that's all there is. The characters are annoying, Guy Pierce's acting as atrocious and Katie Holmes looks perpetually confused and directionless, despite the fact that she was allegedly the first one to figure out what happens. Definitely an underwhelming film, but it is not necessarily bad. Just not good either. It's mediocre, at its best. Expand
  5. Dec 15, 2011
    5
    Horror movies don't have to be scary, but if they're going for the chills, they have to do one thing at least. They can't blatantly show theHorror movies don't have to be scary, but if they're going for the chills, they have to do one thing at least. They can't blatantly show the antagonists. This is a mistake "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" makes, and it completely kills the movie. Early on, the film is decently creepy. We get a very disturbing opener, but 30 minutes in the creatures come out to "play" and we get to see every bit of them. By seeing the creatures, "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" turns into an incoherent fantasy masquerading as a horror film. Another thing that bothered me was the little girl, Sally. Bailee Madison is a terrific actress, but her character is forced to make so many illogical choices that it's hard to appreciate what she does here. After she has been attacked by these creatures in a way that would force any child into therapy, her character pleasantly takes a bath and doesn't seem to mind that she's vulnerable and alone. What child does that? It's these inconsistencies that take us out of the situation. On the positive side, the cinematography is alright and the performances are all fairly strong. Katie Holmes, who is an average actress through and through, gives one of her best performances here as a concerned girlfriend of Guy Pearce. But there's not really much to appreciate here. If you want to catch a horror flick, see the new "Fright Night." It's not scary either, but it's a heck of a lot of fun. Expand
  6. Mar 19, 2013
    4
    I gave it a four mainly for how they wrote the film and the atmosphere was creepy. However it wasn't scary. I have no idea what really went onI gave it a four mainly for how they wrote the film and the atmosphere was creepy. However it wasn't scary. I have no idea what really went on beside the girl being harased but the parents dont believe her. The movie was eh....If you find 1 foot tall bald rats that stand up and whisper then this is for you but if your looking for a movie that is scary this isnt it. 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.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 39 User Reviews

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