Movies That Don’t Suck: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

The summer has come and gone but that doesn’t mean Hollywood takes a break on the amount of shit they crank out for the masses. It just means we’re gonna be trading the superhero and block buster action flicks for fall dramas, re-hashed horror flicks and that random war/historical/based-on-actual-events movie that creeps up around Christmas. So as the season kicks off and fall bombards us with asshole kids seeking candy and Daylight Savings Time (which doesn’t make any fucking sense, btw), we welcome a pretty good flick directed by Guillermo del Toro, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.

Before I get into why this was a pretty sick movie and why people who are fans of horror should give it a try regardless what asshole critics say, here are some words of advice. If you don’t want to seriously fuck up your child or any other children’s chances of sleeping since they saw Stephen King’s IT, then please avoid showing this particular piece of cinema to anyone under the age of 13. At that point, most kids start to develop their own complexes and are fucked anyway. For some reason, del Torro likes exploiting children’s fears. If you had the pleasure of seeing Pan’s Labyrinth, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I wouldn’t consider myself a little bitch when it comes to horror movies (sure I’ve checked the shower a time or two) but everyone has irrational fears. Kids, on the other hand, almost always share a common fear while growing up: the dark. You know, that fabled entity that happens when you’re too broke to pay the electric bill or when you go to sleep. Kids hate this shit and usually have some sort of retarded looking night light with a unicorn or creepy ass clown (which is guaranteed to cause all sorts of issues down the road). This movie thrives on that fear. If you remember being between the ages of 5-9 and despised the time of day where the Sun was like “I’m out, PEACE!” then go out and get a good scare. It’s good for you.

Without ruining too much for you guys, the movie is about (you guessed it) a big fucking scary house that has a horrifying past. And before you’re like “I’ve seen this movie on repeat for the past 10 goddamn years”, it’s actually refreshingly different. A father and his girlfriend are going all-in renovating some gothic looking mansion when his nine-year-old daughter Sally shows up, apparently being ditched by her mother (who, btw sounds like someone who needs to an ass-kicking). She’s all sorts of fucked up and clearly not thrilled about being there.

Most of the flick takes place in the house, where something is not right. Sally starts talking to voices coming from the vents and walls, which her father just dismisses right away. Word to the wise for all you parents and/or people who want offspring: If your kid starts making friends with things or voices in the walls of your house that pre-dates the 1850’s, just get the fuck out. Sure it’s quite possible that your kid is bat-shit crazy, but it’s more likely that there is something trying to steal your child’s soul or harvest their body for something useful. I’ve seen way too many movies to ever second guess whether or not there is an inter-dimensional being that happened to find it suitable to inhabit my walls.

Moving away from the plot a bit, the movie looks pretty sexy. I wouldn’t say as sexy as Pan’s Labyrinth, but it’s all good. Most of what you’re watching is pretty predictable but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to watch. Remember, in an industry plagued with remakes and “re-imaging” (which is a fucking remake with a shitty name), a new film by a great director should be welcome with open arms. The CGI isn’t the greatest I’ve ever seen, but the eerie atmosphere and settings will make you forget about all that and wish you didn’t currently have a basement (high-five to those who don’t). The sound design does a great job capturing you in the moment and the acting by the kid who plays Sally is pretty awesome for her being so young (even though she rather eat wet cat food than ever be outside a well-lit room ever again).

So screw what any critic may say about this particular film. Even though it happens to be a remake of a 1973 flick with the same name, it’s an awesome kick-off for a season that will shit out another Paranormal Activity sequel. This is an grand opportunity to get that hot chick you just scored a date with to hide her face on your shoulder or have that bitch of a creature you are less than fortunate to share time with never want to come back. Either way, its a win/win situation. And if you happen to be in that 10% of dudes afraid of the dark, don’t be a pussy and have fun.

Slapping crying babies during R-rated movies,

Jersey John

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