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Monday, August 2, 2010

[7.50/10] Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)

Despite the fact that it's only a TV movie, "Don't be Afraid of the Dark" is a scary little film that takes its modest plot and does really well with it. The plot is intriguing from the beginning, and revolves around a blocked up fire place in a house that a couple have just moved into. Naturally, being a woman, the wife decides that she wants to use that fire place, and proceeds to open it up despite the advice of the friendly repair man. It turns out that this fire place harbours tiny demons, and now no one will believe that she is actually seeing them! The typical misunderstood protagonist scenario really makes you nervous, especially when the little scary creatures show up during a dinner party at the house, which was one of my favorite scenes. Kim Darby, in her role as housewife Sally Farnham, is very realistic and gives concentrated performance. However, the characterization is rather flat and dated for a modern audience. Jim Hutton, as Sally's husband was, unfortunately, stiff and wooden, and often annoying to watch. Visually, compared to today's standards, and its coeval, "The Exorcist", film feels a bit dated, but the atmosphere in the house is so extremely creepy and effective, this old-fashioned look didn't bother me at all. Director Newland piles on the atmosphere with a great old spooky house, dark windy nights, and those memorable demonic creatures with their eerie whispering voices, who remained as one of the scariest ever in film history. There are so many scenes that make "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" work: the quick glimpses of the freaky looking little demons; the dark basement and the bricked up fireplace, that looks so ominous, you know something evil is waiting within and, of course, the downbeat rather surprising climax. Along with a handful of other cult movies of this era, "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" induced many nightmares growing up. Easily one of the most effective and genuinely spooky horror films ever made, it skillfully exploits every child's most common fears. So beware! They might get you tonight...

  • My Rating: 7.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 100% (2 Reviews)
  • IMDb: 7.1/10


Jaccstev said...

Already can't wait to watch the newest big screen version of this story.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Tell me about it! :) I'm so glad that exactly Mr. Del Toro will do the remake. :) That promise awesomeness!