Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark Reviews

Top Critic
Nigel Floyd
Time Out
October 5, 2011
There is so much here that one admires, one wishes that there was more to love.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
September 1, 2011
The film looks good, it sounds great (Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders' score is full of darkly murmuring woodwinds), and Madison is a pip of a lead.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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William Goss
Film.com
August 26, 2011
A welcome alternative to the current genre offerings, steeped in old-fashioned atmosphere and faithful to haunted house routine, albeit to a fault.
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Matthew Hays
Globe and Mail
August 26, 2011
This is still a seriously entertaining horror movie, one that will please newcomers as well as fans of the original oddity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
August 26, 2011
Despite all the care that has been put into it, the film doesn't transcend its dime-store horror roots.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
August 26, 2011
The season's scariest horror film - and, depending on what the next few months bring, perhaps the year's.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
August 26, 2011
"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" will turn your nerve endings to Popsicles.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 26, 2011
This artless film even approaches child abuse, in the way it crassly reconfigures the protagonist from the besieged adult woman of the original into a neglected and terrified tot.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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John Anderson
Wall Street Journal
August 25, 2011
Mr. Nixey is doing an Alfred Hitchcock homage within a movie lacking anything as subversive, or skilled, as Hitchcock.
Top Critic
August 25, 2011
There's no denying that his latest monsters are imaginative and detailed creations, but the haunted house-style story is hampered by his desire to show them off.
Full Review | Original Score: 5.5/10
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
August 25, 2011
What they're after is clear from the film's gruesome prologue; what they look like is withheld until long after we have ceased to care.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
August 25, 2011
Don't worry about fearing darkness, but beware horror flicks that trot out every hoary cliché.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
August 25, 2011
"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," expands upon the creepy and effective TV movie from 1973.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 25, 2011
The film never takes hold emotionally, despite strong work from Holmes and young Madison. With Del Toro's name in the credits, standard chills aren't enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
August 25, 2011
If there's one big flaw with Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, it's that in 2011, there's only so long that we can watch movie characters face the perils of a haunted house without thinking, "GET OUT ALREADY!"
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 25, 2011
As a horror film should be, it's gruesome, tension-filled and you can't tear your eyes from the screen. But it's also cruel, quite depressing and utterly sad.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
August 25, 2011
I do hope that "Don't" doesn't do Nixey in, as he has a real knack for staging high anxiety. For Del Toro, the question is, what happened?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 25, 2011
While there are moments of eldritch atmosphere and a few pro forma jolts, nothing here justifies our attention, let alone the film's inexplicable R rating.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 25, 2011
Joltingly graphic and atmospheric (Nixey and his crew at least know how to set up a few good shocks), Don't Be Afraid of the Dark fails to involve us in any meaningful way with its characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
August 25, 2011
If you flinch at "boo," you'll find plenty to jump at here. Just don't expect striking originality, or even genuinely memorable eeriness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Reader
August 25, 2011
The remake plays like a shallower, more clichéd variation on his masterpiece, Pan's Labyrinth, but its mix of gory effects and deliciously old-fashioned visuals make for a classy, scary horror show.
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
August 25, 2011
While the end of "Don't Be Afraid" is creepy, it's far from emotionally satisfying.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
August 25, 2011
While director Nixey has talent, his indiscriminately roving camera tends to diffuse the tension, not heighten it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
August 25, 2011
Nixey does a nice job of creating a weird, menacing world.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
August 25, 2011
Nixey steeps everything in a surfeit of atmosphere. It overflows. It suffuses every frame. It seeps off the screen and into the auditorium.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
August 25, 2011
This is an above-average horror flick by any measure, nicely directed by del Toro protégé Troy Nixey in an atmospheric, unshowy style that recalls cheapo '70s cinema without mimicking it.
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
August 25, 2011
Though Nixey carries it across with some style, some intensity, and some graphic imagination, the whole isn't quite the sum of its somes.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 25, 2011
This is a very good haunted house film. It milks our frustration deliciously.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
August 24, 2011
It's a plodding, derivative gothic potboiler: The Shining meets Coraline, with a touch of Gremlins played (boringly) straight.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
August 24, 2011
The new version of "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" is entirely too literal, but it still manages to be a literally hair-raising piece of modern-style old school Gothic horror.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Melissa Lafsky
New York Observer
August 24, 2011
After announcing he was no longer directing The Hobbit, Mr. Del Toro sustained a blow to his post-Pan's Labyrinth armor, and this washout brings him one step closer to full career rupture.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
August 23, 2011
If the grand finale isn't as resonantly scary as the original's, maybe that's just because, try though we might, we're no longer impressionable kids.
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David Germain
Associated Press
August 22, 2011
The tension del Toro and Nixey create promises much more than it delivers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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James Rocchi
MSN Movies
August 22, 2011
...the moviemakers are refurbishing an older, shabbier piece of workmanship -- and it's a welcome enough place to stay for a few hours.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Variety
June 27, 2011
A suspenseful yet markedly less insidious update.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
June 27, 2011
A scary film where the scares peter out far too quickly.