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Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

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Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark - 4/10/2011 1:40:16 AM   
Empire Admin


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Post #: 1
- 4/10/2011 1:40:16 AM   


Posts: 7
Joined: 19/9/2011
No no no, awful movie! I don't know what Guy pierce is doing in this... not scary, crappy looking CGI monsters... give it a miss!

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Post #: 2
You Won't Be Afraid of The Dark! - 8/10/2011 3:27:56 PM   


Posts: 4
Joined: 2/10/2006
Basically a horror(?) film about funny little rat/meerkat people looking for kids teeth! The big names bring nothing to this movie, Guy Pearce could have easily just be played by some guy. If you feel you really need to see this movie please wait until it lands on terrestrial T.V. because at least then you can change the channel(You will!).

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Post #: 3
Wasn't impressed - 9/10/2011 10:02:41 PM   


Posts: 114
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For my money the whole film was too slickly polished and kinetic to sustain any kind of genuine horror or tension. And aside from the undeveloped, unlikable characters it betrays the basic unspoken rule of horror, especially when it comes to creatures in the dark, in that it reveals the monsters too early in the film, and every time they reappear throughout you're simply reminded they're merely artificial CGI imps.

I don't blame Guillermo Del Toro for this, he was simply a producer, but the direction was simply plain and lackluster.
Come on Del Toro, get At The Mountains of Madness into gear. That I wanna see!

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Post #: 4
RE: Wasn't impressed - 10/10/2011 10:36:15 AM   

Posts: 125
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From: London
I enjoyed it for what it was a slickly produced but still, ultimately, just a slice of slight B-movie terror cinema. Some of the set pieces were excellent (the imps attacking Sally in the bath was particularly effective, shame the imp at the end of the bed scare had already been shown in the trailer because, that too, was brilliantly executed), Bailee Madison is yet another child actor who can actually act and is consistently believable, Holmes and Pearce did their job well (although I was unsure about the bizarre haircut they'd given Pearce which seemed to set him in a 70s film whilst everything else was clearly set in the present day) and the use of a dark version of the tooth fairy legend was well handled. Criticisms would be that, yes, the creatures are revealed a little too early and the cross referencing of two characters sketches of their persecutors is delivered too late for it to have any dramatic effect but overall it was an pretty enjoyable Friday night movie only ruined by some idiots sat behind me who constantly talked throughout the quiet bits and then proceeded to talk on their phones (have they not seen the Orange adverts?!) a quick "fuck off out of here if you're gonna talk on your fucking phone" got rid of them for a bit though...

3 out of 5


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Post #: 5
RE: Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark - 10/10/2011 12:55:23 PM   

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I really liked it, but I'm a sucker for anything that brings folklore to the table. Solid performances from all, especially Bailie Madisson. I thought the scenes in which the "creatures" ramped up their attacks on Sally were really intense.

I love it when filmakers imbue their antagonists with a genuine purpose and it worked well here. They had motivation, and the escalating violence was creepy.


You're not going crazy, Arthur. You're going sane in a crazy world!

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Post #: 6
RE: Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark - 12/10/2011 2:39:33 AM   

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Pretty enjoyable if ultimately average gothic horror fare. It has Del Toro's signature all over it (even though he didn't direct) like the gothic-fantasy theme and look. There's even a couple of scenes set in a garden maze similar to that in Pan's Labyrinth. The kid who plays Sally carries the film quite well but is annoying in places, Guy Pierce is reliable but kind of phones in his performance and Katie (Cruise lol) Holmes still can't act. Its a shame the best scare in the film was given away in the trailer and there's a few unnecessary "acting scenes" which don't work at all. Fun overall but lacking in any major scares and as far as Del Toro produced horror goes this is a long way from El Orfanato. 3/5


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Post #: 7
Rubbish! - 12/10/2011 9:15:42 AM   
Bobby TwoTimes


Posts: 84
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Every boring cliche under the sun. Guy Pearce in the dullest role he's ever played. Left the cinema before the end - I was THAT uninterested in how it was gonna finish. Along with 'Drive' and 'Red State' it completes a hat-trick of sh!t films!

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Post #: 8
Rubbish! - 12/10/2011 9:15:43 AM   
Bobby TwoTimes


Posts: 84
Joined: 18/3/2008
Every boring cliche under the sun. Guy Pearce in the dullest role he's ever played. Left the cinema before the end - I was THAT uninterested in how it was gonna finish. Along with 'Drive' and 'Red State' it completes a hat-trick of sh!t films!

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Post #: 9
RE: Rubbish! - 13/10/2011 12:31:33 PM   
Dr Lenera


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Even though this seems to have had mainly disappointing reviews, I feel obliged to stick up for it a little!  This is a highly enjoyable, old-fashioned haunted house chiller which should entertain as long as you don't expect too much.  Guillermo Del Toro and his co-writer Matthew Robbins relocate the story in a much more Gothic environment, with Oliver Stapleton's cinematography making the most of one of the most forbidden houses in horror movies in a while, and they nicely build in a few more details while still leaving much that is unexplained or ambiguous.  They give the tale a slightly nastier edge with the use of a young girl being the one who sees the goblins, in the process giving us the scariest 'thing in a bad' scene since The Grudge.  Sadly though, it does fall down on its monsters, and I couldn't stop wandering how is it that three midgets in suits lumbering around oversized sets are far more frightening then loads of fast moving CGI creatures.  They show these Chihuahua/Gollum crosses far too much.  Recreations of some of the earlier films' bits fall sadly short, and characters behave like idiots, though I wouldn't call that a big deal, snce characters in horror movies often behave like idiots!   Nonetheless, aided immensely by a wonderfully emphatic score from Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders, this is definitely one of the better horror remakes of late and certainly justify its existence.  It may not frighten most of the time, but it has the gently chilling and strangely reassuring feel of a Victorian ghost story, and also boasts one of the best child performances I've seen in ages in Bailee Madison's Alice, really convincingly conveying fear and despair.

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 13/10/2011 12:32:20 PM >


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Post #: 10
RE: Rubbish! - 13/10/2011 11:07:09 PM   

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Saw this on Tuesday. I'm a big horror fan as well as a Del Toro follower so this was a genuine must see.


- Some good jumpy bits: simple yet effective scares.

-Decent acting for the most part. Nothing ground breaking but solid fare.

-Beautiful house as the main set: stunningly Gothic and superbly designed.

- Effective CGI. I still would prefer puppets/animatronics etc, but this is decent CGI work.


- Storyline goes from interesting to downright Bonkers.

-Certain plot-holes and shifts in emotion are unforgivable.

-Standard horror cliches fight to get into this filmtowards the end.

-Instantly forgettable: no chilling moments despite a neat set up.

This is was very disappointing film for me. Nice set ups and story introductions are soon forgotten behind a mess of horror cliches and the now necessity of including too many quiet-to-loud moments instead of any genuinely frightening devices. A severely wasted opportunity.


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Post #: 11
RE: Rubbish! - 15/10/2011 12:09:03 PM   
Wild about Wilder

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From: Hertfordshire
Think it would've been better of slightly less gory & gone for a 12a cos it would've been better of aimed at kids< as a 15 it was just far to weak & not scary in the slightest.
Plus I don't think it was a great idea to show 1 of them at the end of the trailer gave whatever mystery or suspense they had about them away.

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Post #: 12
RE: Rubbish! - 18/10/2011 4:41:31 PM   

Posts: 1296
Joined: 30/9/2005
Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark for the most part is a childrens horror film. Remove a few bloody moments and it would surely have received a lower rating and been a great childrens horror movie. Sadly, in the end it aimed for an adult audience and failed. Never really frightening, the early atmosphere soon gives way to bog standard CGI creations which are were much creepier unseen and heard. Not bad by any means but a great disappointment as I was really looking forward to this.
3 stars.

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Post #: 13
Incompetent work - 13/1/2012 9:55:12 PM   


Posts: 35
Joined: 3/11/2007
This was a very, very poorly crafted movie. I don't know what Kim Newman had put in his tea the night he saw this crap but it surely must have done something to his senses. To mine it did nothing except for making me very angry.

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Post #: 14
v poor - 3/2/2012 5:20:23 PM   

Posts: 387
Joined: 7/2/2009
seen it all before, over styled sets that look like something out of a disney movie and worse of all not in the slightest bit scary. empire has a thing for del torro, thats the only explanation to why they have given it 3 stars.

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Post #: 15
- 15/2/2012 7:17:28 PM   
Turd Ferguson


Posts: 72
Joined: 24/2/2011
Everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves.

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Post #: 16
Don't be Afraid of Dark - 23/2/2012 10:22:04 PM   

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Joined: 17/1/2007
From: USA
Good not great. Nice Gothic touches. Thought Katie Holmes was better than she usually is. Pearce was underused. Del Toro should have directed. Would have been better.

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Post #: 17
RE: Don't be Afraid of Dark - 1/3/2012 8:16:13 PM   
S. C. Lee

Posts: 356
Joined: 1/12/2011
I wonder if Guillermo del Toro was drunk when he made this film, Pan’s Labyrinth it ain’t. The characters make some mind numbingly stupid decisions, you’ll wonder if they’re all brain dead (apart from the little girl.) Bailee Madison was fantastic, Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce had nothing to do. The dumbest plot point, Holmes goes to see a man in the hospital, instead of warning her about the little creatures he tells her to go to the library to research it. And why the hell do they think he’s had an accident? He’s got knife wounds all over his body…

After the girl has been attacked in the library they put her to bed LOL. So, so dumb.

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Post #: 18
RE: Don't be Afraid of Dark - 2/5/2012 5:42:28 PM   

Posts: 4
Joined: 2/5/2012
Here's my review

Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark is a horror remake of the 1979 film of the same name. It stars Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes and Bailee Madison. The film is directed by Troy Nixey and is his feature film directorial debut.

The plot of the film is about a young called Sally (Bailee Madison) who is sent to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in their newly acquired mansion. The mansion is populated by troll like creatures who want to claim Sally as one of their own.

I liked this film a lot but there was one thing that I would have changed but before I get to that let me tell you what I liked.
The opening scene was a great way to start the film off; it was a nice little prologue and gave us a taste of the creepy and tense atmosphere that we could expect throughout the film as it progressed.

I loved the setting and the scenery of the film and the cinematography was excellent. The outside views of the house and the scenes in the overgrown woodland type garden really helped to add that extra bit of eeriness to it while looking visually calming if you know what I mean. Kind of the like the feeling you get in a graveyard.

The musical score throughout the film was superb and complimented the on screen happenings very well, it was always the right tone at the right moment.

At first, Sally did annoy me a bit with her being the moody child who dislikes her Father’s girlfriend as that was just typically cliché but I got over that by the end of the film as I feel that her character needed to be like this for the film to work.

Now for the thing I would have changed, it would be the point in the film when the creatures are fully revealed as I felt they were revealed prematurely. The point where they are fully seen by the audience for the first time should have been after the library scene and during the bathroom scene. It would have been much better if we as an audience saw the sketches of them by Blackwood that Kim was shown in the library first to build up to the actual revelation of the creatures in the house during the bathroom scene. Instead I felt that was a bit ruined due to us seeing them before those scenes, they should have kept them off camera.

I did like the actual creatures themselves and thought that was a good choice in antagonist. They reminded me of Drew Barrymore’s segment in the film Cat’s Eye (1985) where she is terrorise by a little troll like creature, The Gate (1987) with the little goblin troll creatures in the hole in the backyard of the house and finally Ghoulies (1985).

The best thing about this horror film is that it doesn't rely on blood and gore but instead it relys on suspense, terror and atmosphere achieved by good film making like all the great ones do.

This was a very good effort by Troy Nixey for his directorial debut and I look forward to seeing what his next projects are like. Overall I give this film a 7.5/10


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Post #: 19
Okay I suppose **contains spoilers!** - 3/5/2012 11:45:50 AM   


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Joined: 1/9/2007
Although I agree with some posts that the decision-making of the characters requires a degree of disbelief suspension that at times had me faceplanting in amusement. It was all quite nicely gothic and creepy until the creatures appear in full, then it's just The Spiderwick Chronicles with added ketchup. I was also expecting an 'End of Game' big boss who sadly, never appears and the peril level from a mutated rat with a pair of scissors didn't really terrify me like the filmmakers I'm sure were hoping it would. Could have been better. Much better.

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Post #: 20
Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark - 22/8/2012 10:49:27 PM   


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Joined: 30/4/2012
It doesn't get points for actually being scary, but Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is packed with a beautifully haunting atmosphere as well as some acting that exceeds most horror standards. The over abundance of plot will leave adults bored, but children/pre-teens should get a good scare out of this effective haunted house flick.

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Post #: 21
Sorry but 3 stars? - 2/1/2013 2:40:29 PM   
chris wootton


Posts: 563
Joined: 15/9/2006
Biggest pile of shit in recent memory. Terrible acting by everyone involved, awful special effects and the script? my god, it was bad. I can't actually believe that the badger line got written in. Avoid like the fucking clap

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Post #: 22
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