Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nothing to Fear in the 'Dark'


l 1/2

Starring Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison and Jack Thompson.
Directed by Troy Nixey.

"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" says the title. Oh don't worry. I won't be.

I did not like it. I thought there'd be some suspense somewhere. Never felt it. And the deeper I got into the movie, the less forgiving I was of its flaws.

I like to feel goosebumps in movies. I liked Paranormal Activity. I liked Insidious. I was expecting a PG-13 horror flick. This one never drew me in, and clumsy plot mechanics kept me at bay.

I have to do SPOILERS to really explain where I started to lose it...


First of all, the scene in the library, she takes several pictures that capture the creatures. There are polaroids everywhere laying on the ground when the adults rush in, not to mention she smashed the arm off of one of the creatures, and yet the adults don't look around, and suddenly we're in the next scene?! Wait a minute. She took a dozen picture of the things, and there's an arm on the ground of one of the beasties? And they just ignore it?

The librarian scene was terrible. The dialogue was exposition-city, but on top of that, if Katie Holmes's character is a big fan of Blackwood, shouldn't she already know basic biographical details about him, like that he had a son or that he disappeared and was never seen again?

Then the ending. If I am Guy Pearce, and I see Katie Holmes get sucked down a tunnel, I call the cops and send a rescue team DOWN THE FREAKING TUNNEL! I don't just give up. "Oh well. They got her. Let's foreclose this place."

But its biggest sin is the complete lack of tension.

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