Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Cast: Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes, Bailee Madison
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
If we were loading cultural items onto a deep space vessel headed beyond the Milky Way and you wanted a prime example of the horror movie with a disturbed little girl (Bailee Madison) moves in with her father and stepmother in a threatening old mansion, a crazy secret murder in the basement, a grumpy groundskeeper who knows all the secrets, an oblivious father (Guy Pearce) who refuses to move even after the mutilations begin, a mother-bear maternal figure (Katie Holmes), an ominous teddy bear, little man-eating monkey-men crawling through the shadows, a lead character who always does the dumbest thing possible to move the plot along (Creepy voices slithering out of the furnace? I think I’ll open it!), and superbly stylish framing and editing, then your choice might be Guillermo Del Toro’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark might be the one you pick. It’s the Voyager II candidate of well-made derivative schlock.