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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark


Stars: Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes, Bailee Madison, Jack Thompson, Julia Blake

Director: Troy Nixey

Be Afraid of the Dark would actually be a better title for this upmarket remake of a creepy 1973 TV movie about nasty little creatures who live in the primal gloom way beneath the cellar of an old house, and need to claim a human life each time they emerge.

The beginning, set in the 19th century, is very nasty, but the body of the film is set in the present, and really pounds along, as divorced architect Pearce brings his young daughter (Madison) and new girlfriend (Holmes) to the house where evil dwells.

The kid needs to be really good here, and chubby little Madison certainly is, as she releases the little devils and lives to regret it. Pearce is bland, but Holmes in any case has the next best role, and she's most convincing on a welcome return to the screen.

Lots of dark shadows and scuttling, almost spidery creatures with nasty little fangs will keep horror fans happy. I took issue with the ending, though. And surely the catacombs beneath the cellar would have been investigated more fully.

David Quinlan

USA/Australia 2010. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour by deluxe.
102 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 03 Oct 2011