ReviewWriter: Naseem RandhawaWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"The Amityville Horror", "The Messengers" and "Poltergeist"
There is something correlating between disturbed little girls and horror movies that fans can no longer experience something new and different apart from the scare and gore a so-called Hollywood horror product can deliver today.
While the original 1973 "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark" TV film followed a married couple where the wife was tormented by mysterious whispering creatures lurking in her house, the 2011 film that stars Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison (Jennifer Aniston's daughter in "Just Go With It") follows a little girl who is distant to those around her due to the fact that her mother abandoned her. As with all haunted house horror movies, this story follows an excited family who moves into a new yet sinister home not knowing the cursed past it houses within. Guy Pearce plays Alex, the father of Madison and a budding architect who wishes to restore Blackwood Manor to its Gothic glory along with his interior decorator girlfriend Kim (played by Katie Holmes). As Kim tries to connect with Bailee and play stepmom, Bailee sulks and lurks around the house alone until she stumbles upon a hidden fireplace in a hidden basement that has been bolted shut. When Bailee hears whispering noises beyond the bolted door calling her name, she opens a passageway to her worst nightmare.
While fans of Guilllermo Del Toro ("Pan's Labyrinth" & "Hellboy") expected the director/screenwriter to add some of his artistic flair to the movie, all Del Toro did was to pen the screenplay along with Matthew Robbins and left the directing bit to comic book artist Troy Nixey. Unfortunately that may have been the downfall of the movie.
While Katie Holmes role hardly differs from her 2002 movie "Abandon", her pairing with Guy Pearce seems not too shabby and a natural chemistry is noticed. Bailee Madison who proved she had the comedic chops in the Adam Sandler movie "Just Go With It" also proves she has what she takes to come up along the likes of Dakota Fanning as a prominent young Hollywood actress.
Although there may be some scenes that may be deemed scary for some, the movie ultimately delivers what we have already seen before, time and time again. Cinema Online, 30 September 2011