Saturday, September 3, 2011

Don't Be Afraid of This Movie

Spoilers be damned. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is a colossal disappointment. First of all, it is NOT. SCARY. AT. ALL. Lisa, you may as well catch the next available showing and join the discussion, if there is much of one. After the first 5 minutes of the movie, NOBODY DIES. It takes like an hour for there to even be any more blood, and even then none of the characters clues in that all is not as it seems. The man pulled a pair of scissors (or whatever) from his shoulder. THAT IS NOT AN ACCIDENT, THAT IS WEIRD SH** GOING ON. CHECK IT OUT. LOCK THE BASEMENT. There comes a point in almost every horror film where the characters are making so many stupid decisions that you cease caring what happens to them. Since it took OVER HALF THE MOVIE for there to be any horror whatsoever (I wasn't actually looking at my watch), my apathy for the characters took longer to set in. Even the little girl, bless her heart, made ridiculous decisions that were completely out of character. You know they don't like light, so when they attack you in the bathroom, don't try the handle for ten minutes when you know you can't open the door. TURN ON THE #$@%! LIGHT. Kim, dear, when the handyman tells you to get the girl out of the house--the handyman who clearly has a history with the place--get the girl out of the house, THEN GO TO THE #$@%! LIBRARY. Yes, I know this sort of thing is standard for horror, but so much of it happened, I couldn't suspend disbelief for that long.
And the little ancient evil creatures must have been locked up so long that they were out of practice with the whole "one life must be taken" thing. They spent more time screaming and posturing (Adrienne said that the one "looked like a wrestler") than doing any actual killing. They had plenty of opportunities to take the girl, plenty of opportunities to kill Dad and Kim. And Apple Pie Granny to boot. Dad and Kim didn't have a night light. What's the deal? Get 'em out of the way. Later on, poor Kim is lying on the floor, completely vulnerable, and for some reason they leave her there to fashion a complicated rope and pulley system to get Sally down to the basement. Kill 'em both first, then drag their asses to the basement. It's a lot more economical. Oh, and by the way, it was really nice of them to detach the wire they put across the stairs before Sally came down. And it didn't occur to them to disconnect the power to the house until everybody decided to leave. These creatures are idiots. No wonder they're hungry.
Okay, I did like a couple things. First, it's nice to see Katie Holmes on the big screen. It's been awhile. Though it probably wasn't difficult for her to relate to a film that required her to be trapped in a house with maniacal screaming creatures. We have no way of knowing if these creatures jumped up and down in a frenzy on a couch on national TV, though. I wouldn't put it past them.
Also, the little buggers are pretty cool looking when they're scampering around the house, waving sharp objects in the air. We got a little too much face time with them, and they became less and less scary as the film wore on. By the end, I was thinking, "I could take these suckers. Fling a few against the wall, stomp on a few, scream right back, etc."
There is no way this movie was denied an R rating because of "pervasive scariness." Again, to quote Adrienne, "he begged for an R rating."
I'm going to read the other posts now and then go watch another horror movie to get the fix I didn't get at the theater. Then I'll eventually need to rewatch Pan's Labyrinth and The Orphanage to remind myself that Del Toro does actually know how to make a horror movie.
By the way, I'm not even going to get into the ending. The stupid, stupid ending. So Kim, in death, is now taking care of the poor orphaned imps? Does this sound familiar at all?

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