8.26-28.2011: What To Watch – Theater Edition Gone Dark

Guillermo del Toro is a master, with the ability to scare even Tom Cruise, in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.  The film was scheduled to premiere in January of this year but due to the sale of Miramax from Disney, the movie was bumped to an August 26th US release date (it opened up the 12th annual FILM4 Frightfest on the 25th, its UK premiere).  With the vision of Trout comic book creator Troy Nixey, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark hopes you’ll “come play” and leave you turning on all of the lights at night.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark  Starring Katie Holmes (Batman Begins), Guy Pearce (Memento), Bailee Madison (Just Go With It) and Jack Thompson (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones).  Written by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy I & II) and Matthew Robbins (Mimic).  Directed by Troy Nixey (Latchkey’s Lament).

For many a decade, the line between television shows and films was clearer than clear but in the past ten years, the same line is blurry at best now, if not altogether nonexistent.  In an unusual twist of small screen to big screen, director John Newland’s tv movie Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1973) frightened writer/producer/director Guillermo del Toro from chimney phobia to feature film inspiration.  With off-and-on writing partner Matthew Robbins (del Toro and Robbins are currently working on a darker version of Pinocchio), del Toro took writer Nigel McKeand’s story, spun it around and turned the character of Sally into a child.  Sally is now the main focus of the monsters and the character and story-driven movie with Kim as her father’s girlfriend, played by Katie Holmes.  The actress is no stranger to horrors and thrillers, having appeared in Disturbing Behavior and Phone Booth, but is no fan of slasher horror (she’s never been able to finish watching 1978’s Halloween).  Instead, classic horror like Rosemary’s Baby is more her style which Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is more akin to with the “emotional journey” being the attraction to the role of Kim for Holmes.  del Toro aims to provide the release audiences need from our “regimented world”, screaming from our seats in the dark.

Synopsis:  Blackwood Manor has new tenants.  While architect Alex Hurst (Pearce) and his new girlfriend Kim (Homes) restore their Gothic mansion’s period interiors, Alex’s young daughter Sally (Madison) – neglected by her real mother and brushed aside by the careerist father – can investigate the macabre history and dark corners of the estate.  Spurring Sally’s investigation are the voices – rasping whispers who call out to her from the basement, who promise her understanding and friendship, who are so very hungry and would like to be set free.  When Sally gives in to her curiosity, she opens a gateway into a hellish underworld from which an army of beady-eyed, sharp-clawed monsters emerge, small in size but endless in number: the homunculi.  Confronted with the horror that now threatens to take her life and destroy her family, Sally desperately tries to warn the whole house, but there’s just one problem: no one believes her.  Will she make them understand in time, or will they become another chapter in the centuries-long horror story of Blackwood Manor?  courtesy of Miramax Films

R / 100 mins / 2D

Official Website:  http://www.dontbeafraidofthedark.com/

facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/DontBeAfraidoftheDark#!/DontBeAfraidoftheDark?sk=info

Twitter:  @FilmDistrict

YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/DontBeAfraidMovie

Feed me at sharon@horrorhaven.com

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