Review coming from Contributor: Pamela Gardner
|Featuring:||Katie Holmes … Kim
Guy Pearce … Alex Hirst
Bailee Madison … Sally Hirst
Alan Dale … Jacoby
Guillermo del Toro … producer
“They don’t want you, but WE do!”
“Don’t be afraid of the Dark” reveals the dark mythological origins of tooth fairies. It begins with an intense scene of a man offering teeth to creatures in the basement. Fast forward to a young girl named Sally (Bailee Madison) traveling on a plane to live with her dad Alex (Guy Pearce) and his live-in girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes). Alex is renovating the old mansion from the opening scene; Sally is not content with the new living situation and goes exploring the new ground where she comes across the basement, and there she begins to hear voices from a furnace door. From there the story unfolds.
The acting by Holmes and Madison is, at times, believable, but still inconsistent. Pearce keeps up the pace with few lines excelling above fellow cast members; the smaller supporting roles are also well played. I must admit, I did jump a time or two, but the film isn’t scary or a horror, in the real sense. In fact, this maybe one of the few Hollywood films that I felt didn’t earn its “R” rating.
There are a couple of moderately gruesome scenes, involving blood and violence, that I feel earned a PG-13, at best. As for sexuality, Alex and Kim are unmarried, but are shown kissing and sleeping in the same bed. There are a couple blasphemies, including Jesus used as blasphemy and OG.
Biblically, besides rethinking the use of the tooth fairy myth, the film dealt with fear in a real way. We as Christians do fear God, but in the form of awe, reverence, and love of the Creator of all things (Psalm 111:1; Proverbs 14:26-27; 19:23). The Bible (Isaiah 40:10) literally calls us to fear not, for He is with us, and he does not give us the spirit of fear.
As for a recommendation, “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” is sort of a toss-up. The content is not nearly as offensive as most other rated R films, but the story isn’t super great or very scary, and I felt somewhat alienated from the characters and story altogether.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.