First word of advice….show up to the theatre early!
You are not gonna want to miss the opening sequence,in fact before you see it this weekend,do yourself a favor and pick up the companion book.
The book is written by Guillermo del Toro and Christopher Golden and lushly illustrated by director Troy Nixey.
Trust me it adds so much to the film…kinda like an added toy surprise at the bottom of your Count Chokula!
That said…here’s a quick synopsis:
Blackwood Manor has new tenants. While architect Alex Hurst (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) restore their Gothic mansion’s period interiors, Alex’s young daughter Sally (Bailee 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 taker 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?
Intrigued yet?….you should be!
This story is based on a 1973 telefilm by the same name , has taken del Toro along with co-writer Matthew Robbins thirteen years to bring to cinematic fruition.
Self professed to be one of the scariest films he has ever seen,del Toro’s labor of love is brought to life in the very capable hands of amazing writer,illustrator and first time major motion picture director,Troy Nixey.
Though there are times within the film that feel somewhat ”Pan’s Labyrinth”-y.From Marco Beltrami’s score to little sprinkles of del Toro-isms, it’s to be expected because some of the ideas for “Don’t Be…” were concieved long before “Pan’s …” and even ”Devil’s Backbone” .
What is king here (and it’s because of the pedigree that conceived it)…this is an honest to goodness old school suspenseful ,scary film.
Adding the all too boring gore-porn that is soooooooooooooo over used by movies that call themselves “horror” ,this would only RUIN the essence of this film.
Now excuse Granpa Gary for getting up on his all too rickety soapbox…but i grew up seeing the original telefilm when it first ran in 1973 and it scared the Rod Serling outta me. This reimaging of the original will do the same…okay maybe it’ll scare the Wes Craven outta you whippersnappers.
The music by the aforementioned Beltrami along with composer Buck Sanders brings about the right amount of moodiness to accent the film.
Another stand out in this film is production designer Roger Ford.The interiors and exteriors of the Blackwood Mansion were built from scratch in Australia.My friends ,once you see the lovely attention to detail that is so very lush here,you will appreciate it.For the mansion is an integral cast member in this film also.
Now the performances are stellar as well.Guy Pearce as the Deadbeat Dad who immerses himself in his work in lieu of taking a proactive part in his lost daughter’s life ,does not disappoint.Pearce is great in every role that he takes on and it is no different in this film.
Katie Holmes,shines as well…Holmes is so out of her comfort zone, in this role of a perspective step-mom. She gives a very heartfelt performance that I haven’t seen from her before.
But the stand out here that anchors this whole production is 11year old(9 years old at the time of production) Bailee Madison.
It takes a a well seasoned actress to pull of some of the scenes that were required here and Madison NAILS IT!!!
The script is fun and builds up the suspense and the mood in all the right right places.
But the last and most important player here that orchestrated this whole psycho circus ,is none other than director Troy Nixey.
Nixey, coming off his awesome short film “Latchkey’s Lament“ executes successfully what was needed to be done here.
To take the audience on a suspenseful journey full of twists and turns and leave them satisfied yet unsettled.
There is no happy ending here boys and girls….not even for an extra $20…wait …what was I talking about again?…oh yeah …NO HAPPY ENDING!!!
But as a willing participant of this movie-going adventure…one is content with the final outcome.
All in all a great time at the cineplex!
Hey del Toro!!!!…
Can I get me a “Trilogy of Terror “or “Bad Ronald” reboot?
Well Cabrones…Thanks for helping us here at FANBOY CONFIDENTIAL celebrate “DON”T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK” week
I had a fun…I hope you did!
…what’s that behind you?…aaahh made you look.
’til next time Cabrones!!!