Sunday, January 20, 2013

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I was pumped. All you see is a bunch of little hands inside an air vent, looking out toward a bedroom in the middle of the night. My mind immediately went to 'Cat's Eye' with Drew Barrymore, which was based on a Stephen King novel, and for the first time I was actually excited to see a horror movie. I had hope.

When a man and his daughter move into an old house with Katie Holmes (who plays the father's girlfriend), his daughter discovers a sealed hole in the wall of the basement. She hears voices whisper to remove the seal, and naturally, she does. In doing so she releases a group of tiny 'faeries' that bring havoc on everyone they encounter. Apparently they are the original tooth faeries and ever since the beginning of time have been fed children's teeth so they wouldn't kill everyone. It's like 'Midnight Meat Train' meets 'Cat's Eye'. I mentioned that I was excited, but obviously this movie made the list for a reason... several, in fact.

Here we go...

1. The movie starts off with the original owner of the house, kneeling down in his basement and having a conversation with the faeries. One thing that makes the killer or psycho or ghost or 'evil presence' in a movie scary is - they don't talk, and when they do talk, it's incoherent noise or a language no one else speaks. The fact that this man was able to have a conversation and make a deal with them means they are capable of reason. A reasonable species is inherently not a violent species.

2. They reveal what the creatures look like in detail way too early in the film. When the movie gets going there are actually several creepy or scary scenes, because you only see glimpses of the creatures in shadow. When they do reveal the 'faeries', all suspense is gone and they no longer make the effort to be scary - they just jump out and swarm whoever they're attacking, which takes the film to more of a sci-fi movie.

3. Why is it so hard for grown ass people to kill something less than six inches tall? In the scenes where people are defending themselves from the faeries it's like they're afraid to hurt the little things. If something is trying to kill you and your family, kill it first. That should be a no brain-er. Don't swat it away like you're swatting away moths, stomp around and crush them. That's it. End of fight.

4. The daughter actually manages to kill one of the faeries and its body is left in plain view, yet no one references it, not even the daughter. At this point in the movie everyone thinks she's crazy for claiming faeries are trying to kill her. Wouldn't it be wise to show the tiny dead body to your father or anyone for that matter? The crushed faerie is never talked about or shown again in the film.

5. Katie Holmes gets sucked into the hole in the basement and... starts talking like one of the faeries? Alright, if she in fact was a faerie this whole time, and if the faeries were capable of taking human form, then why didn't they all do that from the very beginning? Or are we supposed to believe that she was 'transformed' into a faerie? I mean, she did try to save the daughter in the end. I watched the movie twice and she was definitely trying to save the little girl from the faeries. So, did she have a change of heart? And if so, why suddenly switch back to being evil when sucked into the hole? It's confusing as fuck.

In closing, this one is an example of how a good idea can go bad when written poorly. Is it scary? Sometimes. Is it worth watching? Not really. There are much better movies to spend your time watching.

 2 out of 4

This movie was almost good. So, so close, but it falls apart way too quickly.

Cheers and goodnight.

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