User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 100 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 100
  2. Negative: 22 out of 100

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  1. Aug 26, 2011
    9
    Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is not the typical horror film ,the participation of Guillermo del Toro gives a certain atmosphere of mystery and magic at the same time, the successful performances of Bailee Madison Guy Pearce and give a touch of drama that requires.
    At first very slowly and without emotion, then get the creeps with the creatures, of which there is always a mystery until
    the final enormous advances.
    the movie is scary, mystery and magic, with great performances from Guy Pearce and bailee, nothing more 7 / 10
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  2. Feb 3, 2013
    9
    Young Sally comes to live with her father in a beautiful old estate that he and his new girlfriend have been renovating to resell. Sad and lonely, Sally takes to wandering throughout the house, when she begins to hear whispers calling her to come play. After discovering a hidden doorway that leads her down into a long-forgotten basement, Sally learns of an ancient race of faeries that live deep beneath her new home, but once she releases from their rusty tomb, the creatures terrorize Sally and her family as soon as the lights go out in the house!

    DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK stands as one of the best Gothic fairy tales since PAN'S LABYRINTH, which shouldn't come as a surprise considering Guillermo del Toro's involvement in the screenplay. Director Troy Nixey has modeled the look of the film after traditional haunted house pictures like THE INNOCENTS, while adding a group of mean-spirited little imps that live off of the blood of children. Their whispers in the dark that beckon Sally to join them are quite chilling, but Nixey takes great care in keeping his creatures hidden until just the right moment... Del Toro's script draws from classic storytelling elements and childhood fears that any viewer can relate to. Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce are each good in their respective roles, but it is Bailee Madison that steals the show as young Sally. Her excitement and terror are heartfelt and real, heightening the emotional impact of the film.

    The only room left for improvement for newcoming director Troy Nixey lies in subtlety. DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK is built on a rising terror, but Nixey also includes a few gratuitous moments of gore that the film could do without. They immediately shift the mood from creepy to shocking, which goes against the carefully-crafted suspense that he has developed. Several unnecessary shots use sweeping camera movements and conspicuous computerization to take us through long corridors and into the ventilation ducts where simple dissolves would have been much more effective.

    Minor complaints aside, DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK is an excellent entry into the Modern Gothic revival that may even top the 1973 original. Beautifully shot and surprisingly scary, it is a must-see for all Horror fans! -Carl Manes
    I Like Horror Movies
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Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 35
  2. Negative: 3 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Aug 30, 2011
    60
    When the monsters finally show themselves, this potent theme is lost amid a lot of proficiently staged but insubstantial scare scenes - heavy on musical stingers and weightless CGI.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 26, 2011
    63
    One major reason it succeeds is because of 11-year-old actress Bailee Madison, who brings a wonderful believability to her role as the girl at the center of the film.