HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Replacement Killers, The
On Any Sunday
Mourning Forest, The
Orloff Against the Invisible Man
Power Rangers
Loving
Squid and the Whale, The
Hangar 18
Flashback
Goose Steps Out, The
Ghost in the Shell
Anatahan
Elle
Cynic, the Rat and the Fist, The
No Holds Barred
Laughing Dead, The
Other Side of Hope, The
J'accuse!
Handmaiden, The
P'tit Quinquin
Sense of an Ending, The
Rift, The
Frantz
Nocturnal Animals
Get Out
My Life as a Dog
Mooch Goes to Hollywood
Free Fire
Moonlight
Kung Fu Yoga
   
 
Newest Articles
Computer Love: WarGames vs Electric Dreams
Dream Big: Elm Street vs Dreamscape
Whicker's Slicker: Whicker's World Vols 3&4 on DVD
Ladies First: Girls on Film 2 on DVD
Rock Back: 3 Cult Millennium Music Movies
Possession Obsession: Exorcist vs Amityville
The Italian Jobs: Eurocrime! on DVD
And Then? 6 Hollywood Films That Should Have Had Sequels But Didn't
Approaching Menace: The Frighteners on DVD
Oz Factor: Strange Australia on the Cusp of the 80s
   
 
  Don't Be Afraid of the Dark The Ratmen In The WallsBuy this film here.
Year: 2010
Director: Troy Nixey
Stars: Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison, Jack Thompson, Julia Blake, Alan Dale, Nicholas Bell, James Mackay, Garry McDonald, Eddie Ritchard, Trudy Hellier, Emelia Burns
Genre: Horror
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: About a century ago this isolated mansion house in the countryside was inhabited by one Mr Blackwood (Garry McDonald), who one night called his maid (Eddie Ritchard) down to the basement where he was working. She crept through the door with a candle to light her way, therefore could not see where her employer was down there in the dark, nor could she see the tripwire stretched across one of the stairs which sent her tumbling to the ground, whereupon Blackwood leapt on top of her. He was brandishing a hammer and chisel, muttering about needing her teeth...

The prologue to this remake of a 1974 television movie, a notable part of the heyday of the American TV horror film, was admittedly arresting, culminating as it did with the revelation that something was living down in a pit beneath the house, it was just a shame the rest of it opened itself up to so much criticism. Certainly director Troy Nixey and his team made the effort to create something which looked the part, but perhaps the problem was with the man who instigated the project in the first place, that huge fan of the original Guillermo del Toro who wanted to give contemporary audiences the same thrill he had enjoyed back in the seventies, watching this as a boy.

It didn't quite work out that way; call the modern audience far more savvy, but lingering questions were raised about precisely what was supposed to be going on which you would imagine should have been explained away by the aims towards a nightmare texture to proceedings, but simply turned a lot of people off for what they saw as an idea not thought through. In the source, it was a young married couple who were at the centre of the trouble, this time it was a family which true to the times consisted of a divorced dad, Alex (Guy Pearce), his new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes), and what turned out to be the main character, his daughter Sally (Bailee Madison) who in predictable form nobody believes.

Well, what would you say if your child was seeing little goblins out of the corner of her eye when she tried to get to sleep at night? On the other hand, the evidence for a presence actually existing there appeared to be overwhelming to those of us watching, which made the grown-ups' insistence that nothing freaky was going on look less like denial and more like outright stupidity. For a start, there's the workman Harris (the venerable Australian character actor Jack Thompson - Australia was where this was shot) who encounters the critters in the basement and ends up shall we say the worse for wear, bloody, battered and half conscious. Any ordinary person might have considered there was something amiss, but not Alex and Kim.

At least they could have brokered the idea that they had an infestation of rats, yet not even that is brought up, so you can see why the audience grew so frustrated with the characters. Eventually, of course they do catch on, but it takes an interminable amount of waiting for them to reach that level of awareness as Nixey's roving camera prowls the corridors and rooms of the mansion for the umpteenth time. To the film's credit, there was no cop out ending, and that at least felt more like a horror movie from the seventies than the rest of it had, but del Toro (who co-wrote the script) and his insistence on penning his chillers from a child's point of view was beginning to wear thin, one trip to that hackneyed well too many. As for the goblins, they were naturally CGI creations and looked it, though represented a decent enough foe if you were willing to forget the more formidable Gremlins of the eighties which they owed some latter day debt to. Music by Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1065 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Bernard Cribbins
Tom Cruise
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Vikki Sanderson
Darren Jones
Tom Le Surf-hall
Mark Le Surf-hall
  Michael Joy
Andrew Pragasam
   

 

Last Updated: