Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Rated 2.0

This is being marketed as a Guillermo del Toro film, but he only produced and co-wrote the screenplay. It’s a remake of an effectively creepy television horror film from the ’70s, and it makes a crucial mistake right off the bat. Instead of having an adult woman haunted by little beasties in a strange old house, they have switched the protagonist to a young girl (Bailee Madison), and she’s kind of an annoying one at that. While the little demon monster things in this film look pretty cool, there was something about those awful masks in the ’70s incarnation that was scarier. The new monsters are too cool to be scary. Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce play the confused couple who take a little too long figuring out that their little girl really is seeing some strange shit. There are a couple of cool little tributes to the original but, in the end, this remake isn’t very scary.