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Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes, Bailee Madison, Jack Thompson, Alan Dale ... see more see more... , Julia Blake , Trudy Hellier , Terry Kenwrick , Abbe Holmes , Garry McDonald , Bruce Gleeson , Edwina Ritchard , Carolyn Shakespeare-Allen , David Tocci , Lance Drisdale , Nicholas Bell , Libby Gott , James MacKay , Emelia Burns , Grant Piro , Todd MacDonald , Angus Smallwood , Dylan Young , Guillermo del Toro

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) can investigate the maca... read more read more...bre 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. 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. -- (C) Miramax

Flixster Users

34% liked it

40,013 ratings


58% liked it

161 critics

DVD Release Date: January 3, 2012

Stats: 3,695 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (3,695)

  • January 4, 2014
    Hey, I'm a fan of the 1973 original; it was the first real horror movie I saw and made me a horror fan for life. The remake producer Guillermo Del Toro was supposedly a fan too, but this movie was too manufactured and lacked the rawness of the original. The remake's large gothic ... read morehouse was overdressed and overstyled. One of the biggest changes from the orignial was that the family in the house now had a little girl - and she was the one pestered by the little goblin things which came out of the caverns under the fireplace in the basement. They created a huge legend of these creatures, with a historical sorta prologue of the previous owners. Added to the legend was the creatures' need for human teeth! All this story clutter made the story less immersive and less scary. I liked the CGI appearances of the creature hoard. The scene with the Handyman meeting the creatures was painfully gorey. They remade some of the classic scenes with greater effects, but nothing in the whole movie was ever scary. The pay-off came at the end, which I really liked.
  • December 25, 2013
    First of all, the rating is all wrong. I think 15 is more like it.

    There were times when the characters' actions were painfully stupid and I thought the ending was rubbish. Despite all that, I really enjoyed this one.
  • November 6, 2013
    *Spoilers* Surely the dark is only scary when you can't see what is lurking within it? The fact that you can clearly see the *face-palm* Tooth fairies, the fear is somewhat gone. The direction and set pieces are visually pleasing and the last scene is genuinely frightening and un... read moreexpected but for the most part the characters are cliche and nothing much happens. I did love that scene where Jim Robinson and Mike Young are reunited after 20 years though. If only Helen Robinson had been around to see it. An ok horror but would have been scarier had Mrs Mangel played the villain.
  • September 29, 2013
    Creepy little demons. Scared little girl that no one will pay attention to. Lots, and lots of darkness...made me jump more than once, so that means something in my book. Not the greatest of endings, as usual..
  • July 16, 2012
    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 ha... read moreve been better.
  • fb100000716838411
    July 1, 2012
    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 someth... read moreing 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.
  • June 28, 2012
    I liked the ending.
  • June 26, 2012
    Guillermo Del Toro produces this remake of the classic 70's TV movie and removes it of all fear in the process. Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark has a new family moving into an old spooky house. There's the husband, his new and younger wife, and his introspective kid. Soon the little ... read moregirl is tormented by little tooth fairy gremlin type things. Nobody believes her and would much rather believe she's crazy. The biggest problem we have here is that the script makes no sense. We are constantly given situations in which people would definitely believe this little girl. One scene is put down to being an 'accident'. What? Did he fall down on a pair of scissors 50 times? Later there's a shot of a severed demon foot, and nothing is made of it. Madison gives a convincing performance, but you'd suspect that Pearce would either have her committed or try and find out what is going on. But as always he just puts it down to acting out. The film also doesn't try very hard to scare, maybe for a younger audience this will be terrifying. Compared to the original, this is awful. That had a grown woman instead of a little girl in the lead, and she actually considered that she was going crazy. Anyone familiar with horror will have experienced this before.
  • fb100000040220993
    June 1, 2012
    A house haunted by deranged tooth fairies? Really? I guess this is a remake. Yeah, there's apparently at least two imbeciles who thought this was a good idea. Nonsense like this might have passed as horror in the early 70's, but I don't find anything that can be tamed with a ... read moremouse trap and some RAID all that threatening. In case you haven't already figured it out, this movie was stupid. Avoid.
  • May 4, 2012
    Creature: Turn off the lights.

    "Fear is Never Make Believe"

    What could have been. I had been wanting to see Don't Be Afraid of the Dark for quite some time now. Why is obvious; it's written and produced by none other than Guillermo del Toro. So I was excited. A lot of the film ... read moreresembles a lot of his gothic horror elements. The atmosphere is initially creepy as hell and the music fits the mood perfectly. Throughout the first 20 or 30 minutes, I still thought this was going to be a fantastic film. I guess it all goes wrong exactly when it all goes wrong for the little girl, Sally. When the creatures come out and we see them, it was just laughable. If those things are your scare factor, you should probably keep them out of sight for as long as possible. They are shown way too early and way too often to have any real effect at all on the viewer. When their hidden away at the start and all we get is whispers from behind vents, it is somewhat effective; but out in plain sight, is a completely different story altogether. 

    Now I'm not going to say this is completely worthless because it is not. It feels like a great horror film. The setting is perfect and the lighting is used well. It feels like a really good haunted house movie throughout, except that it's a creature movie and not a ghost one. I don't think the movie deserved to be completely dismissed like it was, but that reaction is understandable because it is coming from del Toro, and we have come to expect so much more from him. So it isn't all bad, but it could have been so much more with a few tweaks to the story, and possibly some scarier "creatures."

Critic Reviews

Nigel Floyd
October 5, 2011
Nigel Floyd, Time Out

There is so much here that one admires, one wishes that there was more to love. Full Review

Amy Biancolli
September 1, 2011
Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle

The film looks good, it sounds great (Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders' score is full of darkly murmuring woodwinds), and Madison is a pip of a lead. Full Review

William Goss
August 26, 2011
William Goss,

A welcome alternative to the current genre offerings, steeped in old-fashioned atmosphere and faithful to haunted house routine, albeit to a fault. Full Review

Matthew Hays
August 26, 2011
Matthew Hays, Globe and Mail

This is still a seriously entertaining horror movie, one that will please newcomers as well as fans of the original oddity. Full Review

Rene Rodriguez
August 26, 2011
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

Despite all the care that has been put into it, the film doesn't transcend its dime-store horror roots. Full Review

Stephen Whitty
August 26, 2011
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

The season's scariest horror film - and, depending on what the next few months bring, perhaps the year's. Full Review

Kyle Smith
August 26, 2011
Kyle Smith, New York Post

"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" will turn your nerve endings to Popsicles. Full Review

Peter Howell
August 26, 2011
Peter Howell, Toronto Star

This artless film even approaches child abuse, in the way it crassly reconfigures the protagonist from the besieged adult woman of the original into a neglected and terrified tot. Full Review

John Anderson
August 25, 2011
John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

Mr. Nixey is doing an Alfred Hitchcock homage within a movie lacking anything as subversive, or skilled, as Hitchcock. Full Review

Ian Buckwalter
August 25, 2011
Ian Buckwalter, NPR

There's no denying that his latest monsters are imaginative and detailed creations, but the haunted house-style story is hampered by his desire to show them off. Full Review

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    • Sally Hurst: Tell me what you want!
    • Creature: We want you! [screeches]
    • Creature: Old fool.
    • Harris: This house is unsafe for a child.
    • Sally Hurst: They don't like bright lights, you know, those things.
    • Creature: Come and join us.
    • Sally Hurst: What are you?
    • Creature: What are we? Hungry.

Don't Be Afraid O... : Watch Free on TV

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark Trivia

  • In what movie was one of the taglines "Don't be afraid of the dark. Be afraid of what's in the dark."  Answer »
  • whats this quote from? dont be afraid of the dark of course you should be afraid the dark you know whats out there  Answer »

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