Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

So last night I went with Ron and Jason to see Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. We’d all been looking forward to seeing it because the previews looked scary and Guillermo del Toro was involved. Of course, I thought del Toro was directing, but it turns out that he only worked on the screenplay, and maybe that explains some things.

Because the best thing about this movie was Katie Holmes’ performance.

One thing I will say for the film is it made me laugh. Hard. Part of it was because we were sitting behind this elderly couple who came in late and started making loud comments that were not the typical kind of thing you hear at a horror film, comments such as “Look at that house! It’s beautiful!” and “I love that painting!” When the old guy made the comment about the painting, Ron started laughing, and then I started laughing, and then it was a total giggle loop that went on for five minutes.

Of course, del Toro didn’t cast the elderly couple, but I also kind of want those people to go to every horror movie I see from now on.

Something del Toro did do, however, was violate one of the cardinal rules of scary movies: he showed the monsters in the first scene. You can’t show an audience a monster and expect them to be afraid of it; you have to teach the audience to be afraid and THEN show the monster. Everyone knows this. The monsters were hard to take seriously on a number of levels–they’re tiny (even though we know to judge them not by their size), which is a thing, but they also have a habit of going into these pro-wrestler poses every once in a while and just kind of screaming. I think it’s supposed to come off as intimidating, but it’s like watching a wee bitty little dog barking its head off behind a window. It’s hard to take the main characters seriously, too, because they are dimwitted to the point where I got to thinking that maybe the theme of this film is that sometimes it’s best to just let natural selection run its course.

So not at all scary, but pretty funny. A good choice to watch on DVD or at a drive-in with a group of friends who can help you mock it.

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  1. […] so fully, and he managed to be at once hilarious, deplorable, and human. Totally made that film. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark made me laugh a lot, too, but for all the wrong reasons. It also could have gone on my Most […]

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