Box art for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

horror, thrillers

A young girl is sent to live with her estranged father and his girlfriend at their new home. The father, Alex has plans to spruce up the home with the help of his interior decorator girlfriend, Kim.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
4 out of 5
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
2 out of 5

Scary remake features some gore and a young girl in danger.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this horror movie -- a loose remake of a 1973 made-for-TV movie -- focuses on a tween girl who accidentally releases dozens of hungry, scary creatures into an old house. She's often in danger, and although the movie is less bloody than other horror flicks, there are a few extremely gory sequences in which adult characters are disfigured and murdered (slashing, heads bashed, etc.), and the movie's overall tone/feel makes it very scary and suspenseful. Language is extremely mild for an R-rated movie ("hell" is about the worst of it), and an adult couple is seen kissing, with off-screen sex implied.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. What's the impact of the gory sequences? Are they scarier than the more suspenseful/tense scenes? Why or why not?
  • Are either of the grown-ups in this movie role models? Can either of them make an actual connection with Sally when she needs it most?
  • What makes the little creatures so scary and/or creepy? Is a movie like this more or less scary than a story in which humans hurt each other, rather than creatures?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

0 star

The trailer looks GREAT. High hopes for this one.

- lewiskendell, Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2 stars

An ok atmospheric gothic tale, not really a horror film to be honest. It probably could have got a 12 rating. The house and little creatures make the film which has an eerie feel to it with the little whispered voices. Overall though it's a bit slow and not much happens, could have been better.

- Deano78, Monday, July 16, 2012

2 stars

This is actually an interesting movie. In Don't Be Afraid of The Dark, this couple is restoring their mansion and their daughter starts to experience typical paranormal stuff. The usual whispering and noises in the night so it's obviously nothing new in terms of delivering something genuinely scary. The film starts off really slow. There wasn't really anything to hook me in and it took quite sometime for something to actually happen. The big thing to happen is the little girl pretty much invites the weird creatures in her house like the dumbshit she is. The weirdest part of the movie is the design of the things haunting them. They're not exactly ghosts, as a matter of fact, they remind me of those little creatures from the 1986 movie, Critters. The creatures aren't even that scary. I'd be more annoyed than scared if they were in my house. Another flaw the movie has is that the scares are really cheap. There's the occasional jump scare every now and then and if there's anything I hate most about horror movie cliches are the jump scares. It's not that I fall for them easily, I just think a psychological way of scaring people is more effective. The acting in the film is good though. I've never been a fan of Guy Pearce, but he was good in the movie. Katie Holmes was good too, but nothing special, but I think the little girl in the movie had the best performance. It was actually surprising how believable she was. The film is flawed and it was pretty forgettable. The pacing was slow and uneven, it was predictable, the ending was pretty stupid as well and despite some good acting and a few pretty creepy scenes, it just wasn't enough to actually make me afraid of the dark.

- fb100000716838411, Sunday, July 1, 2012