I Won’t Be Afraid of the Dark…

In all honesty, I am afraid of the dark.  Let’s just get it all out there.  I am a perfect candidate to assess the sinister atmosphere of a movie and be successfully disturbed, because a lot of things scare me.  I am a baby, I have no shame.  I had no idea what to expect when seeing Don’t be Afraid of the Dark, other than there was some sort of scary creature(s), so I had no mental preparation giving me preemptive stability.  From the opening credits, the movie seemed like it could have had a curious blend of Tim Burton in the directing, for there was a twisted, childlike terror to the feel of the vision of the film so I couldn’t tell what I was getting into.

However, during the course of the movie I waited with my knees to my chest for the film to pick up with more chilling sequences, and thankfully for me, the uneasy feeling of eeriness that was bound to keep me edgy while I would cope with trying to sleep that night, did not come.  Usually when I imagine monsters of the night that consider the notion of eating me, I often picture them with big enough bodies to support my weight within their stomachs.  However, even a newborn baby could throw down with the itty bitty creatures from Don’t be Afraid of the Dark.

I can certainly appreciate and admire the concept of morphing a lovable children’s fairytale into a horrific nightmare but, this didn’t really offer me the bone-chilling sensation that makes me fearful to recollect my own childhood memories.  In this film’s case, the origins of the tooth fairy were explained and why the creatures were so terrifying yet how their relationship with humans over many years has thrived, out of necessity.  The back-story of the creatures was an interesting tale, especially the historical aspect of it, which as a former history major, I enjoyed.  But these creatures, begging to feed off the teeth and bones of children, were of the mighty stature to rival that of the very intimidating, Tinkerbell.

Despite my position on the far from frightful creatures, there were many admirable aspects of the film.  In comparison to a film like Darkness Falls, which also took the fearful tooth fairy approach, I would have to say that Don’t be Afraid of the Dark was much better executed in the facet of cinematic beauty and tasteful implementation of capturing youthful fear.  The storyline was intriguing and frightening and clear to follow.  The aesthetics of the film were beautiful; the scenery, the house, the cinematography as a whole was performed wisely and accurately to best illustrate the fear of a child and the unknown concerns of parents.  Many horror films take a grittier approach to presenting not only the gruesome horrors of the film, but the actors performances are often, but not always, more shallow; bestowing the obvious fear with but little more to accompany and compliment the genuineness of the character.

The young actress who plays the daughter and the target of the itty bitties, Bailee Madison, also known from Just Go With It, gave an worthy performance.  Both Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes performed well however, I don’t believe preparing for their characters demanded too much of an in depth analysis into the psyche of an uncharacteristic human being.  Overall, the acting was well-done for what the movie called for.

Notwithstanding my appreciation for the visual appeal, there were still a couple things that irked me throughout the film.  Madison, as well as Pearce and Holmes, were being chased down by the three inch dust bunnies and could only think to shrink away from them…Is no one going to kick those little suckers in their stupid little faces?  That is all I could think about, the obvious knee-jerk reaction.  A girl could squash these things with a dainty stiletto heel without breaking much of a sweat but instead, these tiny fairy-like pests overwhelmed the characters to the point of a dismal fight or flight reaction.  I’m not sure I buy it.

In addition, I know children are curious and in hindsight do many foolish things but I don’t know many young girls, even troubled ones, who would sneak into a dark, dusty basement to find creatures with mild to moderate creepy two-tone voices.  I could be wrong.  I also didn’t understand where Katie Holmes stood at the very end of the movie…Is she the leader of the tooth fairies?  How could I have not seen this coming…Because it doesn’t really make sense, that is why.

In my closing remarks, I would say the movie was enjoyable and had a tasteful sense of cinematic accomplishment.  I would consider taking a date to see it.  I would reconsider being afraid of the creatures of the night.






1 Response to “I Won’t Be Afraid of the Dark…”

  1. Brian White

    This was more comedic than anything else to me. Kind of reminds me od DRAG ME TO HELL. LOL