Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010) - Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

Hohum Score



A young girl sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend believes that she has released creatures from a sealed ash pit in the basement of her new home.

IMDB: 5.6
Director: Troy Nixey
Stars: Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce
Length: 99 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 86 out of 259 found boring (33.2%)

One-line Reviews (207)

It is a film well worth watching, I would not say it is a 'family' film as some have suggested as it is quite gory in places.

Guy Peace is particularly oblivious for pretty much the entirety of the film, and the ending is just so ridiculously anti-climactic, and everyone just seems completely bored to tears by this point anyway, so no one cares.

I found some major flaws in the script, a few scenes were dragged on too long for pointless reasons.

In my humble opinion, that cliché cheapens the narrative, because we have already seen it too many times as an easy trick to amplify the (null in this case) emotions from the screenplay.

It moves slowly and is pretty dull.

The pace is very slow and the plot particularly stupid.

The director, Troy Nixey, avoids pointless gore or boo scenes, using his cinematic tools wisely to build toward the inevitable critical mass.

You can then continue with how it was that the creatures never released themselves from their prison for a century, and yet do so only after our heroine is dragged away after attempting to do just that.

Every scene is a horror film cliché.

I do not know how the new remake ends, but in the OLDER FILM, they dragged her off in the end.

All in all this is a generic and quite boring horror film.

It ends up being overexposed and under-written, a jumble of pointless scare sequences and endless CGI nonsense as the inhabitants of the household are repeatedly put at the mercy of some unwelcome critters.

Don't waste your time on this one (as I did, to write you this warning, as a survivor).

View it as such and it is far more enjoyable.

Pretty boring .

You will get a couple cheap thrills but the build up is very slow.

Scary and suspenseful.

All that was a big fat disappointment: long, boring (even when there's ¨action¨), full of incoherences and plot holes.


One thing that is great about the film is it's extremely dark ending, it could have gone for something cliché and cheesy but instead goes for something very intriguing and different.

(Perhaps the Sally has a bit of Sight, if you want to carry the Celtic analogy further, leading to her need to be medicated all the time, to dull it, and that the spiral she draws is a prediction of the future...

And this, dear friends, is agonisingly formulaic.

In the beginning, "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" looks just like that – a nice, sweet, mouth watering mix of suspense, horror, and thriller with many exciting possibilities.

But the downside of that is there are too many people in the mix -- in the original it was just the husband and wife but now there are two protective adults and so the feeling of isolation isn't as strong, and they have to be pretty contrived in putting the little girl by herself over and over again.

It was so predictable that I wanted to turn off my PC at some points because I felt that the director was playing with the intelligence of the viewers.


this film could of been a truly scary film, with so many childhood fears wrapped up in fairy tale, but unfortunately it was slow, and ruined by the unrealistic portrayal of a child.

No real scares here, some nice effects, but the "creatures" themselves which should have been the movie's highlight, also managed to just be dull and boring.

And they forget some very important rules, which makes this one too boring and it doesn't really develop.

While I admire haunted house films like "Poltergeist", I've always found this sub-genre of horror to be painfully dull and its characters to be agonizingly stupid ("The Amityville Horror", I'm looking at you).

When he released a fable called "A Thief of Always", it is a fable of simplified language, but at the same time as wonderfully intense as any of his self-styled macabre writings.

All in all, we might say that the movie is entertaining.

movie channel " This was definitely a waste of money and time.

All in all, this film was very much a "del Toro film" and while it had some errors, I found it to be entertaining.

) Filmed on location in Australia, this version of 'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark' has some moderately engaging horror moments, although it's not without its problems.

Unfortunately, the basic haunted-house plot is just so heavily formulaic that he wasn't able to find any way to spruce it up, and so it plods thru its paces until the expected ending.

The pacing is way too slow, the CGI is bad, and the creatures look like something that with minimal tweaking could appear in a children's version of a scary movie.

Dragged on and on, all about "watching" the little girl as she explores the house, hears whispers and walks around thinking about them.

Way too many plot holes to be enjoyable .

The most entertaining part of this film was the audience's reaction to how bad and cheesy it was.

If, during Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, you find your mouth agape, it's more likely your letting loose a yawn than a scream.

otherwise, it's dull, don't let the Del Toro credit fool you.

waste of time .

The dreary atmosphere and simpler story of the first (1973) 'Don't be Afraid of the Dark' were much better.

While showcasing an intriguing premise a promising start and some decent acting from child actor Bailee Madison the film constantly shoehorns "scary" and "atmospheric" situations despite the fact no sane person would put themselves in that position.

slower then usual with predictable story line.

It is an entertaining mysterious and mystical fairy tale, sometime spooky, sometime silly, and sometime weird, with a kid and her parents as main characters.

Guy is usually such a good actor, but here seems dull and uninterested in the script, and Katie is equally lack lustre in her performance.

An enjoyable Horror, much better than what people seem to say .

The storyline was very poor and very traditional and so predictable.

boring and tiresome to watch .

*cough* But the film is entertaining and special in its own way.

And, yawn, there may be earlier ambiguities.

Overall the movie was very predictable and offered very few scary moments.

No story or characters to like.

of introduction to the main characters and the house was long and dull.

After a few tension building scenes in the dark, in a bedroom, cellar or bathroom it soon become a little tedious.

Uninteresting, cliché characters.

Pros: beautiful scenery/sets, a few good jumps, and about 5-10 minutes of eerie atmosphere Cons: not very scary, too much CGI'd gremlins, and a very predictable/slow plotConclusion: rent the original and skip this remakeThe much anticipated, by me, remake of the 1973 made for TV movie of the same name left me feeling extremely disappointed.

Ridiculous and empty .

Many scenes were dragged on for a pointless amount of time, and I was waiting to be scared.

In summary, don't waste your time watching this movie, watch another one, this is not horror, and not even an entertaining movie.

Its such a cliché plot point, I can't bear it.

Even though the beginning was really boring and simple, the rest of the movie was interesting.

Robbins and del Toro surely supposed that the suspense was going to be bigger on that way and that the audience would squeeze their hands so that nothing happens to her.

Young Blandy meets them and is (yawn) fascinated/scared and eventually unleashes cgi on the Bland household.

The movie opens with a scene that is unnecessarily gruesome but then quickly settles down and tells a story that is greatly suspenseful and completely engaging.

However, I kept having a feeling that a big event, or plateau was on the horizon and as the movie boringly plugged on, I realized i would be let down.

Pity that her talents were wasted in this very unscary, plodding horror.

don't waste your time watching I cannot understand for which reason would somebody bother shooting this film in the first place.

From here we cue up the horror movie cliché bingo; the scene in the bathtub, in the bed, the hiding under the sheets, the trip to the library for disturbing news, the dopey, stubborn parent who refuses to believe… Speaking of dopey parents, Alex is indeed dopier than most.

The intense lighting, which Nixey noted as "inspired by Rembrandt" in the Q&A following the film, is moody and adds to the heavy tone of the movie.

I would say save your money.

) However, there were some parts that reminded me of The Sixth Sense or Psycho and the little monsters were not that horrible from a closer look, they were much like tiny apes, but otherwise it was really worth watching.

I believe that this film would of been more enjoyable if they had of focused on the true origin of the narrative.

Even the scariest, the goriest scenes, and the most suspenseful episodes of the movie have a shade of childishness in them.

His performance is bland to the point of sleepwalking through his role.

Their design and their personality was bland and almost cartoon like.

A thematically faithful remake of the 1973 TV movie of the same name, 2011's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is haunted by logical fallacies, dull stereotypes, and uninspired scare tactics.

Some great moments ( approximately two in the entire movie) but I would save your money.

Straightforward plotting ruins an otherwise solid old-fashioned horror that boasts great atmosphere and some well-executed thrilling sequences .


thanks hope this helps, if you still want to watch this or did watch it and enjoyed it, know that this is just my opinion.

Such as the bland horror thriller Apollo 13, and a letdown called Don't be afraid of the Dark, which is co-written by Guillermo Del Toro.

Everything is going slow as hell, there isn't really a story or a plot, just mutant mice that eat baby teeth.. Every scene of the movie you just keep asking yourself, why don't they just drop a torch down the fireplace, or just smack that mice with their foot, and why the hell don't you turn the light on.

Worst movie $25million can made .

How did the makers manage to make such a terrifying concept so downright mundane?

There are a few little stomach jumpers in this, but most of the time you are on the edge of your seat and waiting for what you know is coming to come.

The little creatures killed the power and you see a shot of the entire house in full darkness and yet, when Kate fell down the stairs and when the little creatures were dragging Sally down the stairs, did all the freaking staff fell asleep while this scene was being filmed?

Bottom line, the movie is a complete waste of time and money.

The story centers around a contest between a young girl and a group of small, furtive humanoid creatures who are both malevolent and fascinating.

If you can overlook a few minor plot holes and the cliché story I suspect you will enjoy it.

The house looks creepy but it is actually a boring place for one little girl to be.

My final word on the matter is that this film is the scariest film to come out since Insidious and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

In fact Bailee Madison is the star of the film acting circles around a dull Holmes and a wooden Pearce and is one of the few enjoyable elements on offer here.

So in conclusion save your money for a movie that is worth your time, I would suggest seeing 30 seconds or less.

Character developments are shallow, confusing, and unnatural to the point of annoying.

In short, then, this movie is fairly entertaining and worth a watch.

He could have done a better job with the character, but instead his acting just comes off as wood and boring.

The creatures from the dark are ridiculous and the behavior of the actors is so pathetic, the movie gets unbearable.

The plot was boring, it was not scary and the story never really tied together.

It's a bit predictable and the creatures could have been a lot scarier.

i personally like stupid horror movies because their value of being so bad or stupid makes it even more entertaining


They are uninteresting.

The sound and visual effects were quite convincing at some points because it somehow provided an intense and thrilling effect to the scenes.

It started out way slow and didn't get into the action until the movie was almost over.

This movie is a complete waste of time.

This movie was a waste of time, I had to stop this movie a few times to do something else cause it bored me that much.

The creatures are cunning for they must rely on stealth to conceal their purpose, and for a child, that can be most fascinating.

Save your money and skip this one!

Pearce is alright trying to be level headed and rational while weird things go on, Holmes looks pretty and is also alright, and Madison is a good young actress who screams a fair amount, with touches of Pan's Labyrinth stuff, a haunted house with ancient evil fairies and high tension at the right moments it does feel a thrilling dark fantasy, a watchable horror film.

This film was so $hit I prob fell asleep at many points while watching.

The film's ending is probably its greatest triumph, mostly because it's daring enough to do the unexpected.

So if you enjoy dark, dreary and cold films which are out of the norm for the horror genre, this one is for you...

Pointless remake of the 1973 MTV movie.

A stark, suspenseful trip through an aboveground Hell that any horror fan cannot afford to miss.

The fact that the filmmakers did not go into any depth to the background of the story, just makes it more confusing.

Throw in a stuffed animal that talks when unexpected and the script writers fail to offer anything new at all.

It's visually entertaining and has more than no occasion that might cause u to jump!

)A dirty romp through the underbelly of twiddle diddle twee, this film is, complete with oblivious adults and fairies who resemble rats more than they do Fairy Peaseblossom - with a few WTF moments that should have been developed more, but still worth watching.

I found the film entertaining it gave me a few frights (I am a horror film buff so I am not easily scared) it had my girlfriend hiding under the bed clothes!

Very similar to other movies but worth the watch.

The most boring horror flick i have seen in the past 20 years !.

Worth watching, new twist on an old theme .

His character is really pointless and dull, and even annoying.

Maybe the family should had listened to Sally who wanted to leave the mansion.

Waste of time.

This movie is a waste of time!!!.

Too scary for kids, too boring for adults?

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is no exception to the rule, but the story is a classic which makes this movie exciting.

This movie was predictable and the whole architectural story never had any real relevance to the story at all and just gave both Pierce and Holmes something to do besides deny that their little girl is insane.

You might just want to leave a light on after this movie...

It was boring, annoying and downright insulting.

If the movie turns out surprisingly engaging, credit must go to Nixey for skilfully translating del Toro and Robbins' screenplay into some truly intense sequences.

In the end the good moments do a good job at trumping the bad moments, so this movie is still enjoyable and I do recommend it.

To meet that objective Troy Nixey would have needed slower pacing, with scenes long enough to make us wonder with increasing anxiety what was waiting in the darkness to make us jump from our seats, when it might happen, and if it could possibly be as terrifying as we imagine.

The use of surround was especially enjoyable with the little demon's voices.

It was thrilling creepy and fun and i look forward to watching it again.

Godawful, pretentious remake .

Katie Holmes as Kim on the other hand has no excuse, I would have thought that being married to an intense, diminutive, fiendishly evil goblin for a decade would have taught her how to handle herself better… In any case Don't be afraid of the Dark is fairly formulaic fare despite the presence of Guillermo Del Toro behind the scenes, in the end while it wants to be a companion piece to The Gate, the 80's teen friendly horror flick is scarier, funnier and just plain better than this film.

I have seen movies with this sort of storyline before, so that is not new, but Guillermo del Toro's signature is all over this one and that made it worth watching.


The story was predictable.

It's got a fairly intense climax and the eerie whispering and voice-over that closes the film is really chilling— too bad that the buildup to it was completely absent.

Make it an enjoyable evening, watch the original followed with the remake, you maybe will be afraid of the dark.

Unfortunately, I found this movie to be quite boring, not at all scary and with no twists to spice it up.

But since the new millennium it seems the only offerings from the horror genre have been pointless remakes to smart and SCARY classics from yesteryear.

Worth watching.

And it was boring...

Feeling abandoned by her mother in Hollywood, Sally is resistant to Kim (Katie Holmes, not bad) and Alex although they both try to reach out to her—yes, a storyline cliché, we see the stepmom try to gain Sally's approval with the little girl not responding warmly.

It is perfectly crafted to send chills down your spine and keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

But the movie seems to be so cliché.

Beyond those, nothing much original happens, and then it's slow to get going and clichéd when it arrives.

Like a bad porno, we're left bored by its expository sequences in anticipation of the action.

However it was too slow to get going.

" Instead of dreading them and being on the edge of my seat, I was waiting to see them and their antics again.

The movie starts off really slow...

Well made and entertaining.

--------------- Spoiler -------------- I started to get bored half through the movie, not one jump scare, and the "Things" i thought was going to eat people, was now using razorblades, scissors etc. I think this movie could have been made so much better, for the first make it scary.

Cons: This movie is an exercise in the typical cliché of "our characters must be stupid, otherwise it's not scary".

it certainly did spook me out and was intense.

I also walked out on it about 45 minutes in because the film makes no logical sense, even in it's own world or even in a dream logic sort of way.

If you're going to separate gripping 'ghoulies in the basement' from formulaic 'ghoulies in the basement', there needs to be delicacy, surprise or elegance in the back-story.

I should say that I actually enjoyed the remake, I thought it kept a good level of suspense, and it was quite an eyeful as all of GDT movies are -- very handsome and evocative.

The mystery only lasts about 20 minutes and then we have to sit through 70 minutes of pointless storytelling.

The whole movie is basically a build up and the climax was boring and the ending was very disappointing.

I wanted to like this film, I really did but it was riddled with ridiculously large plot holes and bad acting (Katie Holmes in particularly atrocious) Bailee was pretty good though, she and the design of the creatures themselves were the sole highlights of an otherwise dreary mess of a film.

First you want the movie to bring it on because it's so boring, and then when eventually something happens it's so hilarious you want to skip to the end.

(waste of money) .

Great look, cliché story .

The writers make a fatal choice to ignore what would be the most interesting bit of the underground creatures, their past, and choose instead to stack whisper upon whisper and scene upon scene of monotonous, dark, and cringe-inducing boredom.

I beg you to save your money and purchase this movie via Netflix or Redbox.

This yanks us in too many useless directions; especially the childhood trauma and notion of a scary (submerged) world of juvenile imagination, which was likely Del Toro's Spanish contribution to the project and just pulls in a half-serious, contrived direction.

Don't waste your time .

An atmospheric, slow-building, suspenseful, flawed masterpiece, this film grabs at the nerves and dangles them in front of the blade until those moments when it saws at them with a relentless zeal.

Complete waste of time and money.

But overall this is a nice movie, with a general element more of suspense / mythological theme than anything else, having some segments with more intense scenes only at the beginning, a short part in the middle and in the end - which may not please everyone.

As well, the constantly-changing tone of the creatures here is somewhat confusing, since it gives them a reverence and feel towards their behavior and general appearance that reads more like a fantasy than a straightforward horror effort so there's a rather alarming clash against the brutal and vicious actions they undergo here.

So, in conclusion, I cannot recommend Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010), because I think it is a tedious remake with many negative elements.

Madison easily outacts them in a very compelling performance.

Everything about this movie is a cliché.

I did, however, like the mythology behind these creatures and the whole air of mystery as to why they were located where they were and the history behind them (despite the fact that all of this is explained in a lackluster monologue by an irrelevant character that has become a cliché in horror movies these days).

The climax, with Sally being dragged down into the basement where she will become one of the demons, is poorly handled and shows little suspense, and a ridiculous ending has Katie pulled down instead - her disappearance is then shrugged off so casually, with no attempt to free her, as if it was all for nothing.

And slow, you are introduced to more and more of the darkness underneath the surface (or in this case, down in the hidden basement).

Interesting at some parts, but boring with all the talking and average plot/ climax .

Ultimately Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins screenplay is an attractive drawn out Twilight Zone / Creep Show episode with a budget.

The scenes are predictable, the ending is completely unrealistic and the last scene is anti-climactic.

It works for the most part but it is pretty slow a large amount of the time and the build up is over done.

This is pointless as we have it.

I have never walked out of a movie before.

The score by Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders is equally formulaic, filled with dark foreboding right from the outset.

The bigger budget and production values result in a movie that is able to offer some decent, if drab, visuals.

Now what we have here is another eerie and suspenseful film from the mind of Guillermo Del Toro and new-coming director Troy Nixey.

Typical crap, predictable, stupid plot where the adults don't believe the kid until later on in the film.

Very Enjoyable (ermm, so says me) .

A waste of $10 and two hours of my life that I will never get back.

As for the plot it was empty, a house with demon mice...

We get boring scene after boring scene of boring and unbelievable dialogs.

Horror movies nowadays suffer from very poor scripts, the stories are really predictable because we've seen so many horror films, and they all rely heavily on special effects.

The tedious repetition of scurrying feet, nighttime shenanigans, and the increased skepticism on the part of the adults do not aid the tension and suspense, they instead kill the mood the movie is trying to create.

Please save the money and don't go to this film.

Also having scenes where characters just do things that any sane person would be doing the opposite is a staple of the horror genre, so many of the situations in the film border on cliché.

A humourless, boring version of Ghoulies 30 years on.

About 10 people (no exaggeration) walked out of the theater before the movie was over.

I thought it was a very enjoyable Horror, old fashioned creepy house type of film with the visual imagination of Horror mind Guillermo Del Toro and some talented acting.

If you treat "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" as a 100-minute long campfire story, it becomes a little more enjoyable to watch.