Okay.  So.  You have these tiny creatures that are afraid of the light.  The little girl the little creatures are after knows this.  Which is why she sleeps with her bedside lamp on.  She thinks it will protect her.  WHY DOESN'T SHE JUST SLEEP WITH THE FUCKING ROOM LIGHT ON???!?!?!?!?!  This is one of many things I had to stop myself from screaming during the movie.  Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is full of stupid, stupid characters that deserved to die if the tiny, little, fairy-like, can't-you-envision-anything-better-than-the-same-creatures-you-used-in-Pan's Labyrinth-and-Hell Boy 2-Guillermo Del Toro? monsters weren't equally brain damaged.  


People:
director:  Troy Nixey
lazy-ass writers:  Matthew Robbins, Guillermo Del Toro
Barely trying:  Guy Pearce
Really trying:  Katie Holmes
Victim:  Bailee Madison
Showing up as the powerful man in charge:  Charles Widmore


My Assessment:
Fuck you, Guillermo.  

1.  you essentially took the plot of Pan's Labyrinth but broke all 206 of its bones and made it dance.  Were you aware of this?  Oh, little girl dealing with her a parent's new relationship, in a new setting, is having a hard time coping but finds refuge in this fantastical entity (Pan/Furnace Fairies) that turns out to be not-so-nice and when she tries to have someone believe her people don't believe her and bad things happen.  IT'S THE SAME PLOT.  Except I love Pan's Labyrinth.  This sucks.  And you know why?  Because, 2., everyone is stupid.  

List of stupid things:
1.  The plot has two points of tension.  1:  what do the creatures look like?  2.  will they get the girl before someone believes her?  There could have been a heap of questions had there not been an opening scene that takes place 50-100 years earlier.  The opening scene shows this dude killing his servant and trying to give her teeth to the voices in the furnace.  But the voices demand child's teeth.  The guy asks for his son back.  The voices refuse and up come these shadowy mice looking things that pull the guy into the furnace.  That scene tells us:  A, there are creatures in the furnace.  B, they want a child's teeth.  C, the creatures will kill.  If you remove that scene, you don't know what the creatures want, where they are, or what they're capable of.  The entire movie is different.  There's room for skepticism, to wonder.  As is, you know what will happen.  You know the creatures will try to get her.  I just sat there going:  get on with it already, none of this is important.  

2.  As I said, the creatures flee from light.  The girl knows this.  When she finally realizes they are not her friends, she starts carrying a flashlight with her.  But she doesn't sleep with the light on?  She doesn't even turn the lights on in the hallway when she's walking.  She's an idiot.  And you might argue that she's a kid, she doesn't know better.  This is a kid that takes medication when her watch alarm goes off, that draws at a high school level, that won't eat food with gluten in it, that is savvy enough to steal a wrench and sneak downstairs and undo the bolts on the furnace and free the creatures.  She knows what the fuck is up.  So it's inexplicable she wouldn't try to sleep with the room light on.

3.  The creatures are in the walls.  The house is obviously filled with electrical wiring.  If the creatures were really serious, they would have chewed through the wiring and killed the lights.  

"Okay, but, they're creatures that have existed since before man, and they've been locked away, they probably don't know what electricity is."  

Not true.  They kill the power later in the movie.  There's no reason for them not to kill the power early.  Nope, they have to wait until the climax because of lazy fucking writing.  

4.  The mansion is being renovated by Guy Pearce and a large crew.  One of the crew guys knows about the creatures (though we're not sure how much he knows).  But he won't tell Guy Pierce what's up.  When the girl discovers there's a downstairs (the downstairs had been sealed off), the guy is like "oh shit".  But he doesn't do anything.  

When weird things start happening, he still doesn't do anything.  

FINALLY, he goes down when the creatures are JUST about to get the girl (why they hadn't grabbed her already is beyond me) and scares her away.  The guy turns the flashlight on the furnace and starts trying to bolt the gate back up (the little girl had unbolted it).  Why, if he knows that these creatures hate the light, does he leave his light on the other side of the room?  Why not set it down next to him?  Why not bring candles?  Why not bring several flashlights?  Instead, he brings the one.  

WHY NOT BRING SOMEONE TO WATCH YOUR BACK?!??!?!?!??!  

He takes his sweet ass time trying to put the bolts on, and the creatures attack him.  The creatures don't pull him into the furnace though.  They come out and stab him with a bunch of shit.  And he says "I didn't tell them anything!"  This implies he has been in contact with the creatures, that they have some sort of power over him.  If the creatures have been locked away, when have the two parties communicated?  Why would they have?  And what would the creatures do to the guy if he had told Pearce and Holmes what was going on?  

It's stupid the creatures didn't just grab the girl.  It's stupid how the guy utilized the flashlight.  And it's stupid that the creatures didn't just pull the guy into the furnace or kill him.  

5.  Do the creatures want to kill the girl, or do they want to take her teeth, or do they want to pull her into the furnace?  If they just want to kill her, they have like...300 opportunities and don't.  They stand there, looking scary, allowing her to scream for help.  

If they just want her teeth, they never attempt to knock her out and take her teeth.  When they do capture her, they don't just take her teeth.  So that means they probably don't want her dead and they don't just need her teeth, so they want to pull her into the furnace????

I mean, we're told these creatures, every time they appear, NEED to take someone to replenish their ranks.  It makes sense then that they tie a rope around her and try dragging her into the furnace.  But the question is:  WHY DIDN'T THEY PULL HER IN EARLIER WHEN SHE THOUGHT THEY WERE NICE AND HAD HER FACE IN THE RAPTOR JESUS DAMNED FURNACE?????  

6.  Katie Holmes figures out what is going on.  She goes to see the dude that the creatures attacked.  He yells at her to get the little girl out of the house and about some stuff at the library.  Instead of going home and getting the girl out of the house, Katie first goes to the library.  At the library, she discovers a bunch of drawings by the dude from the opening scene, the one who was pulled into the furnace, and she finds out HE was seeing the same little creatures that the little girl is insisting she is seeing.  Does Holmes get the girl out of the house.  No.  Even after the little things attack the girl in her bathroom and the girl tries to run away.  Katie takes her right on home.  

7.  At one point, the creatures lock the girl in a room and are jumping all around her, trashing the room, knocking books off the library shelves, knocking pictures off, prancing around her feet.  What is the point?  What are they doing?  No, seriously, what the fuck are they doing?  

She has a camera and keeps taking pictures (the flash scares the creatures).  She also wants a picture so she can prove to people the creatures are real.  

It's stupid the creatures don't seem to have a goal.  

And it's stupid she keeps sticking her face into things.  The library shelves have a sliding wall that does or doesn't lead somewhere (I can't remember if it's just another shelf or a hallway, but I think I don't remember because the movie doesn't tell us where the fuck the sliding wall leads, if it leads anywhere).  The creatures have opened the wall and are hiding back there.  What's the girl do?  She goes and pushes the wall open more, revealing a black depth, like opening a closet.  Do the creatures swarm her and grab her?  No.  SHE'S RIGHT THERE.  RIGHT THERE.  She knows they want her.  They've already attacked her once.  And yet she sticks her face into this darkness.  That's stupid.  And should prove fatal.  Or exciting.  Something.  BUT NOTHING HAPPENS.  When the creatures do attempt to swarm her, she doesn't fight.  She doesn't kick.  She doesn't throw books at them.  She just screams.  Finally, as the creatures are crawling on the outside of a shelf, she pushes the wall and crushes a creature, severing its arm.  Just then a bunch of people burst into the room.  All the creatures disappear.  

Does anyone see the arm?  Does anyone comment on it?  

No and no.  

Do the creatures retrieve it?  I guess.  I don't know. 

I complained about Christopher Orr complaining that in Cowboys & Aliens no one analyzes the alien space craft that crash lands in town.  I don't think I'm being hypocritical because in C&A there's no gain from analyzing the space craft.  Is someone going to fly it?  No.  So why show it?  But if someone analyzes this severed little fairy arm, that has a huge impact on the story because it proves the girls point!  I think it behooves the filmmakers to show what happens to the arm.  They don't.  I think that's stupid. 

8.  The creatures eventually attack Guy Pearce, in the garage.  They lasso his foot and trip him.  His head smacks concrete, equaling loss of consciousness.  How do the creatures attempt to kill him?  By turning the car engine on and leaving it running.  They don't bite out his throat.  They don't stab him.  They don't plunge something into his brain.  

They.  Turn.  On.  His.  Car.  And.  Let.  It.  Idle.  

Then wait around.  

When he wakes up, not dead, and tries to leave the garage via the normal door, THEY SLASH HIS HAND WITH A KNIFE.  

Why did they use that knife to kill him 30 seconds before that?  

9.  When the creatures attacked the worker dude who was trying to put the gate back on the furnace, no one tries to figure out what happened.  The housekeeper woman says, "I think he fell."  Keep in mind, he had scissors in his shoulder, cuts on his hand, his eye was slashed.  There's no fall in the entire fucking world that will fuck you up like he was fucked up.  And everyone in the movie is just like, "Hm, yeah, that sucks, watch that step next time!"  He had stab wounds in his calves...come on!  Wouldn't the EMTs report to the police that it appears this man was brutally assaulted?

10.  At the end there's a picture that's dropped off at the house.  Somehow the manipulation of gusts of air is able to open the basement door, loft this piece of paper, and carry it through the foyer, through the doorway, down the stairs, and to the furnace.  Did these things kill Linka and take her ring?  

I don't want to talk about this any more.


Did I like it?
No.  

I like Guy Pearce.  But I hated Guy Pearce.  And it's not that he was bad.  I just hated the character.

I hated how the camera felt so...eager.  It followed the characters like a lost puppy.  I only thought one shot had any authority and that's when Katie Holmes goes into the library and the librarian is like "follow me" and they go walking and the camera jumps back to an overhead view from the ceiling so you see how the tables and shelves are laid out.  There's no purpose for this (and that's a good thing).  The camera has finally broken away from the actors. Then it dutifully returns.  

Maybe you will watch this movie and like it.  I can't get over the stupidity of the decision making.  There are plenty of movies where the people are stupid and the monster(s) is (are) smart and its fun to watch the people die.  But...in this, the monsters aren't smart, and neither are the people.  It's a failure at a script level.  The only conclusion I can come up with is that the writers weren't intelligent enough to concoct a single intelligent character.  

Yeah, there are moments where you're like, that's creepy or that's kind of intense.  I have no idea why this has an R-rating.  One person dies and that's in the first three minutes.  

The fact that reviewers praised this movie leaves me dumbfounded.  Like, actually praised it.  Like "this is a good movie."  It had potential, but there's no way I could ever agree with anyone that this is a good movie.  The entire premise relies on everyone being too stupid to succeed. 


What It's Good For:
-how not to make a movie
-ruining Guillermo del Toro's reputation
-seeing Katie Holmes dragged down a furnace
-watching Guy Pearce do an impression of Allen Iverson at practice
-making you feel like you could write a better movie
-weeding out friends:  if someone makes you watch this because they like it, you should not talk to them anymore


Pitfalls:
-it exists

Personality Ratio:
% Character   /   % Actor's personality

Pearce:  90/10 (not that great of acting, but definitely not Guy Pearce)

Holmes:  30/70 (quite Katie)
Madison:  50/50 (I have no idea)
Widmore:  0/100 (same look from Lost)


Hypertext:
-Pearce:  L.A. Confidential; The Count of Monte Cristo; Animal Kingdom; Memnto; The King's Speech
-Stupid fucking movies:  Spider-Man 3; Mona Lisa Smile; Batman Forever; Transformers:  Dark of the Moon
-Toro movies that are derivative of Pan's Labyrinth:  Hellboy 2
-Solid Toro:  Blade II
-Little things killing people:  Child's Play; Leprechaun 


Inquiry Closed, thank fucking Raptor Jesus

MODIGLIANI
 


Comments

Jjonez
10/02/2011 02:44

i totally agree with you man. This movie totally sucks and makes no got damn sense. It sickens me that the man that made pans labyrinth was involved deeply with this film other than directing. Watching it online and I feel as if I want my money and time back. You hit every point I thought was wrong with this film.

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skippy
02/03/2012 22:12

Every point that was wrong except for two things.... 1. If you break through a wall in the beginning then break down the damn door to get to the girl when she is screaming. 2 when she is taking a bath wouldn't she turn the light switch back on

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tom
10/06/2011 11:27

what i dont understand is that they take a victim to replenish their ranks, BUT if they take that victim does their soul leave their body, are they turned into a fairy, like whats the deal with that?? because it says that they eat them so wouldnt they be killing that person so how do they then proceed to turn them into a fairy

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Modigliani
10/06/2011 23:06

Jjonez: Well said.

tom: the only explanation that I have is: the movie is fucking stupid. But, if we are going to discuss this...Yeah. I don't know. The logic, as you pointed out, is contradictory. Thinking about it hurts my head.

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Daniel
12/31/2011 21:44

Jajajaja man at the midle of the movie I thought I wanted to kill the little girl more than the little gnomes did, come on!
not only with the light thing, but after the attack to the fat guy the girl went down again to the basement and started talking and looking arround like a lost puppy instead of closing the f*cking door.
I hated Pierce's character too, worst father of the year, the daughter is having a panic attack per day and he keeps yelling at Katy Holmes, what the hell?
The only thing that got my attention was at the end, after that thing with the magic paper that flew to the basement, there ws a voice that I swear it was Katy Holmes, so what, they possesed her or took her soul or something? The movie was bad enough that I don't really care honestly.

Oh, and something else, when the little shits trap Guy Pierce, he tries to open the door but they cut him, here they jump to another scene in the basement with the girl and Holmes, back to Pierce, he is free and running to them, what? The gnomes got bored or something?
What a shitty movie, the only good part was the little fella under the sheets with the girl, and it was on the trailer.

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Sho
01/08/2012 05:43

You just summarized the total crap I felt about this movie after watching it.
I hated it so much I googled who else thought it sucked, what bothered me more is some PEOPLE actually praised it!
It came as a shock, but reading this I'm relieved.
At the end when the little girl killed one of em... I was like. uhg... All you need is a baseball bat and you could seriously kill the stupid things. Seriously they are like rats.
And how the little girl Immediately trusts creepy voices coming from the vent... Serious. Nobody is that retarded. Like children would get scared and immediately run to someone if they heard a voice that they didn't know where it was coming from.

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SilencioBlade
01/18/2012 19:55

I have just watched it about 10 mins ago acctaully, and i have to agree on every point and would like to add 1 myself. I'm amazed that despite all of the deaths and kim (Holmes) getting dragged in the furnace ect ect... WHY DIDNT THEY JUST BURN THE HOUSE DOWN fire = light = damage. burn it during the day or throw a shit load of lighter fluid down the furnace and set that motherfucker alight. Another irritating point in this film is that lack of attention payed to Sally (kid) i got a picture of them *ignored* i got an arm of them *ignored* im getting killed by them *meh lets stay anyways* kims getting killed *OH SHIT*. Conclusion -: 2/10

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Arketus
12/10/2012 06:24

I just unfortunately watched this movie... from about halfway in anyway, it piqued my interest but I learned the entire plot of the movie within about 5mins from HALFWAY ><. I agree with all the points made in this post 100%. But another thing I'd like to point out that just fucking made me want to hurt myself, they didn't try stepping on them.... I mean come on, WHAT THE FUCK! Kim is trying to save Sally, she's SURROUNDED by them, and she is like, carefully watching her steps. FUCKING GO NUTS! Stomp the fucking area, AIM FOR THEM, you'd fucking crush them no problem. She could've wiped them out in less than 15seconds if she started stepping on em, she could've smashed the ones on the furnace with her flashlight and then CLOSED THE FURNACE, and finished off the rest. Rather than stand there like a pleb and hold the goddamn rope. The little girl not attacking them I understand a bit more, because she's a child and possibly too afraid of them to attack... I guess... But the adults? Come on. And finally, Kim gets dragged into the furnace like a fucking moron, and what does Pearce do? They leave... wait what? Your girlfriend or wife or whatever just got dragged down a furnace by demon imp things, and you leave? Only to arrive how ever much long later and let your daughter leave a drawing... That's not human nature, in reality, you'd be fucking finding a way down there, tearing the place apart to save her or get revenge, you'd be finding someone that can possibly excavate the area. You don't have to tell them there's imps, say there's rats, just get that fucking furnace area dug up and get down there, and stick a god damn bug bomb or some shit. DO SOMETHING, don't just leave her to her fate and forget about it. Seriously, that's what they did, they left her to her fate, and now they're moving on, going somewhere else and forgetting about it... so that the next people that move in can go through the EXACT SAME thing, but hopefully they won't be so fucking mentally deficient about the goddamn situation. God, horrible movie, absolutely painful to watch and not in any sort of good way. Scary? Nope. Suspenseful? Nope. Shit? Damn fucking straight.

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Modigliani
12/13/2012 14:56

hahahah. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this. Whenever someone else rants about this movie, it sort of makes me happy I saw the movie...like I'm part of some elite club of people who know just how awful this movie is. I will never watch the damn thing again, but I'll get a ton of satisfaction out of making fun of it with people for the rest of my life.

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Nanashi
01/05/2013 23:41

The ending was a crowning moment of stupid. Katie Holmes disappears and everybody is like "oh, what a bummer". No rescue sequence (I even checked the timeline thinking "hey, do they have time to save her?"), no investigation, no worried relatives, no angry bosses. She was supposed to appear in the next Architecture Digest cover and nobody bother to even give a call. The father also doesn't give a crap that she died either. He should have been the prime suspect of her murder!

And I won't even comment on the girl's mother...

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Modigliani
04/18/2013 15:46

Yo Nanashi. Total agreement. The movie is just the height of illogical decisions. I still say Spider-Man 3 is the worst movie ever...this is right up there though.

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Nanashi
05/02/2013 23:30

You should write up a review on that too!

Modigliani
05/02/2013 23:39

I will never watch Spider-Man 3 again....but you should read the Abridged Script version. It's one of the best things on the internet.

Johnny caton
03/26/2013 17:12

Where do i start! Washed up actors and actresses trying to make a scary flick. The whole movie leaves you in the dark! I have 300 Questions i need to ask. Like what happend to katie holmes? Are these creatures for real? Whats the plot and meaning of this fucking movie! It makes no sense and it was poorly written and directed. 2 thumbs down! HORRIBLE MOVIE! Recomended for no one to see......

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Modigliani
04/18/2013 15:56

Hey hey, Johnny.

This is the difference between a really thoughtful movie and a really stupid one. If you watch "Another Earth" or "Blade Runner" or "Apocalypse Now" or "Ashes and Diamonds" or "Groundhog Day": you're left with questions you can go back through the movie and get answers to. The movie turns you into an investigator. And most of the answers relate to the themes the movies are getting at. So the end of "Another Earth" leaves you going...whaaaa? But if you think about the implications, and that the entire movie is building up to self-forgiveness, you start to see how the surrealism is a way of expressing the abstract idea of how someone forgives themself.

Then you have garbage like "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark". There's not enough information.

What happened to Katie Holmes: she became one of the little creatures. How? No idea. Does everyone they steal become one of them? No idea. Did the guy from the intro? No idea.

Are the creatures real: yeah.

The plot is a series of stupid decisions that lead up to Katie Holmes dying and no one caring. The meaning? Uh.... keeping secrets is bad? Not believing in little creatures can get someone killed? Guy Pearce wanted money?

My favorite thing is that instead of knocking the house down or letting anyone know something is wrong inside of it: Guy Pearce just leaves it. Which means someone else could buy it, wander into it and be killed by the little creatures. Everyone in this movie sucks. The movie sucks.

What other movies should we rant about????

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Lai Wei
12/22/2013 20:09

Taking the plot and connectivity of the movie into consideration, I would rate it the stupidest movie of the year.

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05/07/2014 04:24

wow what a great review, thanks for giving my post thoughts some catharsis, you should make videos

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