Are You Don't Be Afraid of the Dark?
Forgot to post my review of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, the Guillermo del Torro-produced remake of the 70's TV horror movie (which I have yet to see). It's a pretty effective little horror movie. Despite the R rating, there isn't a whole lot of gore in this tale of a family that move into a house infested with little goblin-like creatures that feed on children's teeth. In fact, unlike most horror movies these days, the film spends most of its running time building up a sense of dread without really showing you anything. The creepy set design, lighting and sound had me expecting something terrible to happen at any moment. Unfortunately, when the creatures finally do take center stage, impressively realised though they may be, much of the tension dissipates. What we imagine is more awful than anything the filmmakers can show us, and the creatures even come across as endearing in some of their scenes. The film also falls into the trap of other supernatural family in peril films (such as Poltergeist) by having the parents' complete stupidity enabling the horror to continue. It does have a disturbing ending, though.
Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes are adequate as the parents, but the real standout is young Bailee Madison as their daughter. She carries much of the film (drawing parallels with del Torro's Pan's Labyrinth) and perfectly captures both the childlike wonder and intense fear of the dark in her character. Technically the film is near flawless. Don't expect any groundbreaking horror, but it's a fun ride for old school horror fans.