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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

I haven’t talked movies on here in a long while, but quite frankly, I need to rave about this one. A friend and I went to see it on Wednesday night, and oh my!

Going into Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect – the commercials made it look a little scary, and I normally have a hard time believing that Katie Holmes can act. I should’ve known that, because it was a Guillermo del Toro film, it was going to be awesome.

First of all, oh it is so BEAUTIFUL. The opening credits were stunning. They may have actually been the best part of the movie itself, and I will be buying the movie when it comes out on DVD just so I can watch the those first few minutes again. As my friend said, you very rarely see opening credits like that these days. They used to do it all the time before Star Wars started the trend of moving away from the elaborate opening credits as an introduction to the feeling of the movie you were about to see, and it’s sad. Sometimes you get the beautiful ending credits (I’m thinking of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events here), but you rarely get the opening ones. You can tell that a lot of care, time and talent was put into just the first few minutes of the movie itself. Totally amazing.

So the opening credits set the scene, and then we get our first glimpse of the setting – an large, beautiful manor on Rhode Island. Stained glass windows, library, monograms engraved into the wood, oh they all lend to an amazingly gothic feel for the movie. Fast forward a few generations, and the dilapidated feeling of an abandoned home oozes atmosphere off the screen. Perfection.

The story itself was wonderful too. It pulled inspiration from the original fairy stories – you know the ones I’m talking about. The dark fey. The fey who would steal children. The ones who caused utter havoc. The ones that people were afraid of. In my opinion, the Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark movie did for fey what good urban fantasy has been doing for years – very much distancing itself from the friendly, sparkly, happy fey that people have come to believe are the real deal.

I don’t know how this version compares with the original made-for-tv movie, but I hear there are a fair amount of changes – especially in the fact that Sally, the main character, is a young girl in the remake, whereas in the original she was an adult. I think having Sally as a child certainly makes the movie quite creepy and more … well … realistic as far as fey go.

In the end, I would highly recommend this movie to fans of dark fey, and I really cannot wait until it’s released on DVD so I can grab myself a copy.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 5:29 pm September 8, 2011.
Category: Movie Reviews

  • Lisa

    I wasn’t planning on seeing this because the trailer didn’t grab me but your post makes it sounds like something I’d love.