DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, the title urges, but you know they’re lying. There are things hiding in the dark, little things, nasty things, things that want nothing better than to drag you down, down to the caverns where they dwell in order to, well, let’s just say you won’t need your library card anymore. Director Guillermo del Toro was so transfixed as child by the original telemovie that he re-wrote the tale with frequent partner Matthew Robbins, brought in comics-artist Troy Nixey to direct, and unleashed the darkness-loving creepies on estranged father Guy Pearce, conflicted girlfriend Katie Holmes, and most especially Bailee Madison as the young girl the demons most desperately covet.
Join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they explore how the story survives the updating, consider whether the chills outweigh the plot holes, and discuss why, after all these years, people still don’t realize that when disembodied voices start whispering to you the dark, it’s time to GET THE HELL OUT OF THE HOUSE.
Also: Guillermo del Toro imparts some thoughts on the importance of storytelling; and what’s coming in theaters and home video.
Guillermo del Toro says that, as a kid, he harbored great affection for the TV-movie version of DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, enough so that he and his friends used to creep each other out merely by whispering the name, “Salllllleeeee.” The years have passed and audiences have (maybe) become more sophisticated, but the new version of the film, co-written and co-produced by del Toro and directed by comics artist Troy Nixey in his feature film debut, clearly demonstrates that there’s still room in the hearts of horror fans for a flick that worms its way into your brain with evocative atmosphere, and a story that has a young girl (Bailee Madison) ignored by her father and his girlfriend (Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes) and beset by little creatures who just plain want her.
Because of Hurrican Irene, we’re forsaking the usual production values to bring you my interview with Nixey as fast (and easily) as possible. Click on the player to hear the chat.
Deadline.com reports that the sale of Mirmax from Disney to Colony Captial’s Filmyard will delay the feature-film remake/reboot of the harrowing 1970’s TV movie DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK.
Scheduled to be released in January of 2011, the slow-moving studio sale and transfer of assets has postponed the supernatural film and the thriller THE DEBT from their planned releases.
No new time-table has been set, and likely will not be until after the deal is finalized sometime early next year.
Guillermo Del Toro and Matthew Robbins (MIMIC) based their screenplay for the new version on the original Nigel McKeand penned teleplay. DON”T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK is directed by Troy Nixie, starring Guy Pearce (MEMENTO) and Katie Holmes (BATMAN BEGINS).