MiracleFrank: Okay, we’re doing something a little different for our review of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. Since both of us paid to see this hunk of shit, we’re going to have a discussion about it, and then post the transcript of the discussion, because I read somewhere that “movie review discussion transcript” is now like the number 3 most-searched item on Google after “chicken salad recipes” and “Sarah Palin humiliation porn”.
Ms. Silver Screen: Basically the story follows a very standard plot. An angry, creepy little girl is sent away by one of her parents – in this case, her mother – to go live with her father. The dad has of course met someone new for the jilted little girl to be preprogrammed to hate. In this case, the other woman is Katie Holmes. I think Katie Holmes is actually really pretty aside from that broken smile of hers. It’s like her mouth just doesn’t stretch far enough to do a full smile. But I digress… Anyway, before long, the lonely little girl is talking to some “imaginary” friends who live in the basement. Eventually it becomes apparent that the things in the basement are not imaginary, nor are they particularly friendly, they’re more like little goblin creatures who live on human teeth, but by then Guy and Katie are too annoyed with mopey’s antics to pay her any attention. So she’s left to wander around the house and fight these little fellows off while the adults have adult situations (not the good kind).
MiracleFrank: I think my number one complaint about this movie is how aggressively stupid Guy Pearce was.
Ms.Silver Screen: Yeah, he really went for it with all of the disbelief and the constant need to do anything but care for his daughter. I really don’t get why he’s so befuddled at his daughter’s discontent. I mean, what kid is going to be super psyched to be sent away from home to live with Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce? At least Holmes gives it the old college try and offers to bakes scones with the creepy little shit. I’m sorry, but if I walk into my daughter’s room at night when she’s screaming a lung out only to find that she’s making claims of little creatures that want to be her friend and/or eat her teeth I am either going to seek treatment or move the shit out of that house ASAFP.
MiracleFrank: See, nobody’s saying you should move every time your stupid bratty kid claims something wants to eat her teeth. But he was ignoring EVERYTHING, including a grown man being hospitalized with hundreds of tiny cuts and bites.
Ms. Silver Screen: Maybe we’re not giving him enough credit. Perhaps the idea of little tooth eating critters living in the depths of the basement was as preposterous to him as it was to the audience.
MiracleFrank: Yeah, a word to aspiring filmmakers out there: less is more when it comes to computer generated monsters. Especially stupid little faery-land ones. I know Guillermo del Toro can’t get enough of shit like that, but it’s better to leave it to the imagination, for the most part.
Ms. Silver Screen: I feel like those little critters looked like the things that lived in the vents in a house I lived in when I was younger. Aside from some annoying scratching at night, they were nothing to be afraid of. Unless of course they got out of the vents somehow. But having seen them, I’m still not impressed.
MiracleFrank: So, to sum up, the characters are annoying, the monsters aren’t very scary, and it’s basically a waste of a pretty foolproof premise. If you can’t make “whispering monsters in the walls of a creepy old house” scary, you’ve got problems.