Unsurprisingly, the relatively new year has brought a new wave of horror films along with it, one of which is Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. The film, which was released on DVD on February 20th, follows the story of a young girl who is sent to live with her father and his new partner, only to discover his new house is riddled with bad memories and even worse critters that are attempting to lure her into their world.
I went in with reasonably low expectations but I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this eerie flick! We become closely associated with, and very sympathetic towards, Sally, played by Bailee Madison, who is being taunted by grim-looking creatures whose main desire seems to be to add her to the collection of children and adults alike that they have already claimed for their own. Throughout the film, Madison constantly delivers a convincing performance of the role that really leaves you rooting for a happy ending. Commendation goes to the young actress for delivering such a brilliant performance!
Alongside the main character Sally there is Alex, Sally’s dad, played by Guy Pearce who delivers a fairly well-rounded performance as the disbelieving father. There is also Kim, Alex’s new partner, played by Katie Holmes, who delivered a much better performance than I, and perhaps anyone was expecting. Holmes definitely delivered something special and really fell into the role of a character that you’re inclined to sympathise with: initially she is fighting the battle of a child that dislikes her, in the disobedient Sally, but eventually she turns into a pivotal character for the entire production. Between Holmes and Madison, this really is a brilliant film.
The bonus is, unlike so many other films these days, the storyline actually manages to live up to the acting! We’re introduced to a creepy world of teeth-pulling critters that sneak up out of nowhere and do their nastiest torture tricks, every single time… There is almost a fairytale feel to the story with the backdrop of a tortured artist who obviously had an awareness of these creatures, and, after a rather ominous beginning, we are thrown into the present-day situation with new characters unwillingly throwing themselves into this pit of horror.
Okay, so it isn’t the scariest film I’ve seen in my entire life, or even recently; but you are sure to get at least a few jumps and cringes out of this with some brutal stab-wounds and more than a few scenes that will get your skin-crawling. The DVD is available to buy now and I would entirely recommend it to anyone looking for a mild-horror film to break-up the CGI effects and predictable storylines of other horrors currently available. In addition to that, be prepared for a heart-breaking twist at the end - I certainly didn’t see it coming!
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