Friday, 29 June 2012

DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (2011)




I'm pretty forgiving when it comes to silly horror movies (see previous reviews). Sometimes the plot flaws and the general incompetence are part of the fun. When a lot of money is spent on a movie and things are sloppy it is a different game altogether. I was recently enjoying THE AWAKENING which is a pretty intelligent (for the most part) haunted house film.....then as the film builds to its climax it throws a surprise twist into the plot. Nothing wrong with that except that the trick that the scriptwriters have been playing on the audience turns out to be the same trick used by another very famous ghost film. After that we are hit with a plot contrivance that is so far fetched and unlikely that the film lost credibility for me. I still like THE AWAKENING fo r its atmosphere, performances, photography etc. but........you get my gripe.  DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK is a remake of a dumb but enjoyable 1970's made-for-tv movie with Kim Darby.  People acted pretty stupidly in that movie. In the remake they take stupidity to a new level and the plot, which in its basics is an improvement on the original, has plot holes you could drive a bus through. It is technically very well made, looks great, has some terrifically nasty "fairies" and perfectly adequate performances....but, oh dear, the script!  Not written by hacks either as Guillermo del Torro and Matthew Robbins are the culprits.  A shame because this could have been a classic but instead it is just another very enjoyable dumb horror film....see I am forgiving. Director Troy Nixey may do something much better.  Guillermo del Torro is a worry. I've sort of liked all his films so far without becoming a fanboy.  I enjoyed the HELLBOY movies on a comic book level but his Spanish horror films (as both producer and director) while remaining a cut above the recent Hollywood fodder have all seemed to me to have two stories. I can see the point that they are trying to make - relating horror to war etc and applaud the attempt but for me the films remain a bit schizo as I don't think the stories gel together. He does, however, remain one of the more interesting genre artists around - especially now I've almost given up given up on Tim Burton. Rating ***

2 comments:

wellyousaythat© said...

I too have had enough of Burton. Where he was once original his stock in trade seems to be sledge-hammering other people's source material. A pity

Cerpts said...

I've got a huge soft spot for the dotty original TV movie DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK -- how can one not love those little gremlins?!?!?! I had heard they were remaking it but had promptly forgotten until I read this post. I too am rather generous as far as these things are concerned so I'll probably give the remake a look . . . one of these days. I too have had it with Tim Burton since the execrable MARS ATTACKS. As for Guillermo, I quite liked THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE (but not overly) and thought HELLBOY was pretty keen but hated hated HATED the mind-numbingly dull but pretty-looking HELLBOY sequel. That's about all I can say about the director so far.