Let’s all be honest, I think we all have guilty pleasures. Those things in our lives that we really love and admire despite it going against the opinion of the populous. This pertains to so many things from music, clothing, food and movies. It’s a part of what makes us special and a person should never be shy of hiding away from our own guilty pleasure.
My Guilty Pleasures
For instance, one of my guilty pleasures for movies is 1989’s Steal Magnolias with Sally Field and Julia Roberts! I don’t know what the hell it is about that movie, but if it is ever on television; I will stop what I’m doing and watch it. I know I’m a horror fanatic and a strong man, but damn this chick flick just makes me laugh. Go ahead and laugh, I don’t give a shit.
Along with guilty pleasures, there are also “guilty hatreds.” These would be things that everyone loves but you absolutely hate. One guilty hatred I have is the 1990 film Nightbreed by Clive Barker. Something about this movie just doesn’t work for me. I hate David Cronenberg and his stupid calm voice. Median isn’t a place I would want to go even if I knew the way! Fuck those stupid looking monsters and Boone might be the most poorly developed protagonist I have ever seen. God I hate Nightbreed and I hate how it’s become this strange cult followed horror movie. I’ve even watched it numerous times to give a chance. Even the directors cut didn’t work, nothing made it better. People have told me about the meaning behind it and what it stands for BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. But it never works for me. I still and will always think it sucks!
Back in 2010 I remember going to a movie theater with a large group of friends. Everyone in the group left the movie hating what they just saw and only bashed it for its cliche story and jump scares. Now, most of the time I would be as vocal in a group like this when it comes to any film. But everyone was so gung ho on everything that I just kept my mouth shut. But being quiet in a group like this always leads to the inevitable explosion. I was asked what I thought… no, more like… stated to with a rhetorical question. “Nate, what did hate most about that movie.” I just kind of nudged my head to an angle and said in a low tone “Actually, I thought it was pretty good.”
Of course everyone thought I was nuts and demanded an explanation. I ended up becoming a joke that night and teased. Maybe I was wrong? Maybe my taste in horror films is as shitty as someone that loves the Resident Evil series. Man, that means I know complete shit about good movies. To this day I wish I could relive that argument cause I failed to support it. But I’ve rewatched the movie and even seeing it again, I find it enjoyable. So screw my friends! I know what I like! That is why today I recommend Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark.
Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark is a 2010 film directed by Troy Nixey and stars Bailee Madison, Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes. The film is actually a remake of a 70s made for television movie that aired on television. The film received mixed reviews and hasn’t really gained any notoriety.
Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark
The film is about a little girl named Sally that is now living with her father Alex and his new girl friend Kim. Kim and Alex are renovating and restoring an old mansion in Rhode Island called Blackwood Manor. Within its intricate decor and timeless traditions, the house holds a deep dark secret. One that poor Sally will regretfully discover.
There are probably three types of opinions for that saw Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark. Either you saw the film and have never thought about it again. Then there are those that hated it and a small sliver of people that loved it. I’ve been there before for the first camp, it was 2003 when I saw Darkness Falls in theaters and immediately forgot about it until recently. The difference is, Darkness Falls sucks balls and Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark is actually good. I just rank Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark one of those movies that doesn’t get a great deal of attention, which by all accounts was very common for mainstream horror in the early 2000’s. It’s even that way today. I can’t even begin to count or remember the amount of shitty “The Conjuring” style movies there are. How many ‘The Haunting of “Enter Chick Name Here”‘ movies that are out there boggles my mind.
These creatures come forth and demand a child as their food. They actually prefer baby teeth which gives them the term known as “tooth faeries.” Without them then they will take matters in their own hands. For a creature feature, I find these faeries pretty sweet. They don’t simply come out and attack like animals. They carry weapons made from shards of metal or lost tools. They work with a goal in mind which makes them more dangerous. They use tact and precision to get their meal and I for one respect that.
The original owners of the house had a pact with these creatures, which opens up the common trope of “shaking hands with the devil.” Kind of like how the town of Derry in Stephen Kings IT actually allows the monster to feed on children. This pact doesn’t come out and say it but it makes you wonder if the riches of the manor and the family are all because of this pact with the faeries.
The movie is dark and filled with a beautiful eerie atmosphere. While the setting is in modern time, the location and scenery of Blackwood Manor brings us into a separate world that parallels the modern. The creators do a good job at making each scene pop out within the house. It’s a great contrast to the regular modern locations like in the hospital or library. It makes you feel like Blackwood Manor is never changing because some certain entity isn’t allowing it to change. Probably because the tooth faeries use it to take an upper hand against those they attack.
The movie is fun and has pretty good pacing. I never felt like it takes too long to figure out whats going on. To be honest, you’re given all the info you need in the first five minutes. But this is good because I like being the viewer that knows there is peril awaiting. I like saying “Don’t open up that hatch you moron!” Sometimes knowing everything about the horror element lets us enjoy the chaos a little more.
The acting is great, especially between the duo performances of Bailee Madison and Katie Holmes. Kim is the new girlfriend. She’s kind and sincere, which helps develop the bond between her and Sally. I like that she doesn’t take the cliche roll of the terrible step mother. As the movie progresses, what once started as strained relationship; ends with Kim doing her best for this girl. Kim is the only one Sally trusts and can talk to.
You can’t help but appreciate the themes of protecting youth and innocence. Even though we’re in the modern era and society has advanced, there are eternal evils that prey on kids. This entire premise comes down to a pretty awesome ending of a film that goes against your typical fantasy story. I find myself remembering the dark tones and feeling of being surrounded in this old house. It doesn’t overuse the jump scares too much but relies on the scenery to keep our attention going. Even when they do happen, they’re proceeded by enough tension and details that make it exciting. I find myself feeling scared over doors closing and latches turning.
Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark is a great movie and one that I will continually recommend. Well, recommend from this point on I guess. I have actually wanted to do this movie for past marathons but was always reluctant due to the fact that I’m a pussy that is afraid of negative feedback. But no more! I love this movie! I describe the movie as a haunted house creature feature kind of film. I’m not a big fan of ghosts or haunted house movies but I do love the atmosphere they supply. Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark has all the tones and feelings of a haunted house film but the horror element is entirely a different thing. There is no widowed woman’s soul stalking the halls or a box containing an evil demon. Instead we have small pissed off creatures with a knack for eating children. That is why I have chosen Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark for day nine of Horror Movie Marathon.