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Preview review: 'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark.' Or, be very afraid of the dark.

August 5, 2010 |  2:16 pm

Katie%20Holmes%20in%20DON'T%20BE%20AFRAID%20OF%20THE%20DARK Last month at Comic-Con, Guillermo del Toro said the MPAA felt his new movie "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" was so bone-chilling that it could only be rated R.

"We originally thought we could shoot it as PG-13 without compromising the scares," Del Toro said. "And then the MPAA came back and gave us a badge of honor. They gave us an R for 'pervasive scariness.' We asked them if there's anything we could do, and they said, 'Why ruin a perfectly scary movie?' "

Having watched the trailer for the film, we understand why.

The movie, co-written and produced by Del Toro and directed by Troy Nixey, is a remake of a little-known 1970s horror film. At its center is Sally Hurst (Bailee Madison), a young child who moves in with her dad (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes). They're living in an ominous-looking 19th century mansion on Rhode Island, where Sally discovers a secret basement. The hidden space has remained untouched since the man who built the mansion mysteriously vanished 100 years prior. When she goes into the basement, Sally unwittingly awakens a group of creepy creatures, who then begin to threaten the entire family.

The new teaser trailer for the film is pretty short -- far shorter than the roughly 10 minutes of expository footage shown in San Diego -- and includes few shots from the actual movie. Instead, most of the preview features a black screen accompanied by a sinister-sounding voice-over warning us that there's "nothing to be afraid of." Yeah, right. Cut to a montage of dim shots: There are creatures trying to enter the house through a metal vent, glass is breaking, there's lots of screaming.

Even more affecting, though, is the final image of Sally crawling through sheets with only a flashlight until she lets out a bloodcurdling scream. The effect is frightening and leads us to believe that horror fans aren't going to be let down.

In any case, we'll be sleeping with the lights on tonight.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark in HD

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-- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Katie Holmes stars in "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark." Credit: Miramax

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COMIC-CON 2010: Guillermo del Toro isn't afraid of ... much of anything

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As a kid I saw the original Don't be afraid of the dark. It was scarry. I would like to see it again before I see the remake. I'm now 43 and I would like to see if it has the same affect. Then to see the new one. I look forward to the new movie. I didn't know their was a remake in progress. I saw a Resses commercial Don't be afraid of the Dark. For their new flavor. But that commercial brought back thoughts of that movie. I googled it and here I am.

My mom introduced me to the original Don't Be afraid of the dark at my 7th birthday slumber party in 1989. There wasn't any violence or blood in the movie and to this day I have yet to be as terrified from any scary movie as I was from this one. Needless to say the slumber party was cut short after the movie ended and everyone went home to there mommies. I'm thrilled that Del Toro is remaking this!!!

I cant beleave they are making a remake. This was my favorite horror movie and my best friends when we were young. I am 44 now and it still scares me and i watched it 15 times at least , I have a copy of it on VHS i made off the Tv way back when . This is so so cool . It looks like they are gonna make it good with real good Actors !! I know there are a lot of people out there reading this and if you never saw the original movie go see if Net Flicks or BlockBuster has it and watch iT, Only if you are a true classic horror fan. Make sure you watch it very late at night with no one home or with your wife or girl friend and leave all the lights off. I no even the old movie will Creep you out !!! Cant wait to see the REMAKE !!!


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