Saturday, August 27, 2011

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark-review

Katie Holmes feels like something bad happened here. She just can't put her finger on it.
            Being a huge fan of “Pan’s Labyrinth” and having dug “The Devil's Backbone”,  I really appreciate Guillermo del Toro’s work.  He really captures the art of the dark fairy tale on film and brings it to life.  This movie is alright in that regard. It is incredibly flawed though and it shows.  The movie itself is a remake of a 1973 made for TV movie of the same name.

Don't get too attached to that Polaroid film kid.
            A little girl names Sally moves into Blackwood Manor with her father and his girlfriend.  Sally, played by Bailee Madison, starts to hear voices calling out to her in the darkness of a sealed fireplace.  She opens the fireplace to investigate and releases fairies which at first she thinks are friendly towards her but then she comes to realize they are much more sinister then she thought.    How can she survive staying in a house with evil Homunculi that aim to kill her when the lights go out?             

            The script is really bad.  That is the first major flaw in this movie. Guy Pearce, who normally is an excellent actor, plays the father, and he completely acts like nobody with a child would act.  Even in the face of overwhelming evidence he still doesn’t believe a word she says.  His girlfriend, played by Katie Holmes, buys into it eventually and becomes the little girl’s savior.

Well, this certainly is inviting.
            The movie is also sort of slow in a lot of regards.  At first you are watching moody little Sally do incredibly stupid things.  Like talk to the obviously horrible fairies in an attempt to befriend them.  This takes up a bulk of the beginning of the movie.  I’ll admit it finally started getting at least a bit interesting when Sally starts to get terrified as she should be about the threat she unleashed on herself and her family.

            The acting is pretty bad at times too. Katie Holmes is just not a great actress.  As for the star Bailee Madison, she has one emotion she can really do well and that is sadness via weeping.  When I saw her in “Brothers” I thought that she was impressive as hell mostly on account that she could bring that emotion out when she needed to.  However, in that she was not on screen nearly as often as this.  This one calls for a lot more and still we get the moody girl who at a whim starts sobbing for almost every scene.  Only this time I don’t believe it.

Shire! Baggins!
            The visuals effects are good. The creatures look creepy as hell considering what they are.  The set itself is pretty awesome.  There is something haunting about a place with fairy rings of mushrooms and a large koi pond near overgrown trees and hedges.  Still, is it worth seeing? Not in theaters, but it is certainly a decent rental if you are up for something different.

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