‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ Trailer: Creepy, Old-Fashioned Scares

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 15th, 2013 at 12:58 pm,

Dont Be Afraid of the Dark movie trailer Dont Be Afraid of the Dark Trailer: Creepy, Old Fashioned Scares

Generally speaking, describing a project as a remake of a cult classic horror film that’s had its release date long delayed doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. However, this summer’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is one of the rare exceptions that fits said description – and could actually be pretty good.

An effectively unnerving teaser for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was released last August, back when the picture was scheduled to hit theaters in January 2011. Now a full-length trailer has finally been unveiled for the creepy monster pic, which was co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro.

Disney was originally set to distribute Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark through Miramax, but ended up dropping the film (along with The Debt) last October – due to the then pending sale of that specialty division. Pathe International eventually picked up foreign rights to the project over three months later, and FilmDistrict secured U.S. distribution rights shortly thereafter.

That’s all worth mentioning since studios generally tend to delay projects when they have little to no confidence in the final product (see Priest for a recent example). Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, however, looks like a rather effective scarefest at this point.

Here is the official synopsis for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, followed by the new trailer (via Yahoo! Movies):

“Sally Hurst (Bailee Madison), a lonely, withdrawn child, has just arrived in Rhode Island to live with her father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) at the 19th-century mansion they are restoring. While exploring the sprawling estate, the young girl discovers a hidden basement, undisturbed since the strange disappearance of the mansion’s builder a century ago. When Sally unwittingly lets loose a race of ancient, dark-dwelling creatures who conspire to drag her down into the mysterious house’s bottomless depths, she must convince Alex and Kim that it’s not a fantasy—before the evil lurking in the dark consumes them all.”


The old-fashioned horror movie design and atmosphere of the Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark footage unveiled so far has del Toro’s fingerprints all over it – appropriately so, since the filmmaker responsible for titles like Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy knows a thing or two about creating spooky monster tales.

While the characters and plot appear to be pretty run-of-the-mill for this kind of horror story – with Madison as the child-in-peril, Holmes as the all but helpless maternal figure, and Pearce as the skeptical husband/father who at first refuses to believe in supernatural forces – that formula can still work really well when executed correctly (like Insidious managed this past spring).

Thankfully, early signs are that Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark director Trey Nixey and del Toro used those ingredients to make a film that’s more ghoulish than cheesy.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark hits U.S. theaters this summer on August 26th.

Source: Yahoo! Movies

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  1. It appears to have some typical horror cliches (cliches because they work), but given that it’s Del Toro I’d guess there is so much more to this film than can be protrayed in a trailer. This could be one horror film that lives up to the promise of its trailer.

  2. I like it, del Toro effectively uses all of our senses to engage us. His monster design is probably the thing that I least expect to scare us. The atmosphere he creates is wonderful, I agree this is totally ghoulish.

    Oh and as an aside,

    I hate Katie Holmes.

    • I especially like the part of the trailer that tastes scary. And that smell part was crazy. Just joshing ya, I got what you meant, and I agree it looks really nice.

      • LOL, mmmmm tasty – they did say they were Hungry didn’t they? LOL

    • Have to agree, thought this was cool- but Katie Holmes? Seriously?!

  3. This looks like my type of horror film. IMO there is no better storyteller than Del toro working today. I’m happy to know we will finally get to see this.

  4. Saw this movie in a screening. It was beyond awful. Not scary at all and the ending was very confusing, didn’t make any sense. I had very high hopes as a fan of Del Toro but I was extremely disappointed.
    It makes sense why it’s had so many delays, they’re trying to fix something that is unfixable.

    • bs, pics or it didn’t happen

      • What exactly did you want me to take pictures of, the screen? Go ahead and waste $12 on it and I’ll see you back here asking, “What the hell was up with that ending?” along with at least 10 more unanswered questions.

      • I go to screenings all the time too. He didn’t like it, so what’s the problem? At first I was excited to see this, but after seeing the trailer, not so sure anymore. Seems too fantasy and not scary at all. I also really don’t like the look of the creatures.

  5. Who would buy this kind of real estate?? Haha, literally, if the guy trying to sell this house showed me that basement…”Nope.”

    • “…the young girl dicovers a hidden basement…”

    • You’re right, Damian. Same bull. The dad’s too busy with work and doesn’t believe his daughter. Too predictable.

  6. hmm.. a scary version of gremlins.

  7. Whispers of “Come play with us”… what is this? Cliché-bingo?
    Anyways, it completely loses the effect when repeated over and over and over again.

    Could be that the movie is ok, but that trailer is horrible.

  8. I see a typical horror film cliché raising its ugly head again: the “unbelieving father/husband/boyfriend/other-familial-relationship”.

    If the father is a “foil” to the mother and daughter until the very end, this film WILL sorely disappoint me. Nothing annoys me more than a character in denial until the very last moment of “gah!! I should have believed you…. dragged to hell…. screaming” cheap final shot.
    (by the way, one of the reasons that I disliked “Drag me to Hell”. I wanted to KILL the BF myself)

  9. The original is a 1973 made-for-TV movie, is it not? I remember the original as a boy and it really freaked me out. Thus, I will def check this out!

    • yes it is ! i remember as well , really great movie on abc in ny in the 70′s

      • Same here. That and Trilogy of Terror with the Zuni Fetish Warrior….. Those two movies will forever be seared into my memory.

  10. Looks pretty cool…I am sure I will watch this on Netflix. However, I still want to see Lovecraft’s “At The Mountains Of Madness”; I hope this gets shopped around or something and eventually made!…and I wish someone would do a serious big-budget treatment of Lovecraft’s “The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward”, also, while they are at it!

  11. While it looks ok, the original one back in ’73 was simply the most creepy. But I think it was because it was the first time that I (as a 6 year old kid) saw the bad guys win! It still freaks me out just a bit.

    I think I’d rather find that one and own it, than go see a new one – but I bet I will!

  12. What I love about Del Toro’s movies is that regardless of genre they all have a resounding flavor to them- it’s a certain respect and recognition of mythology and the need for each film to have its own myths. I think it’s why Del Toro is perfect with the Hellboy films- he looks at the mythology with absolute gravity and seeks to bring the world to life.
    If the mythology is not respected, and merely played for effect, you get a bad horror movie. A good example is the last few Resident Evil films. Where the hell did the giant hammer zombie come from? Or the tentacle-mouthed freaks? No answer? Yeah. Point proven.

  13. I actually came here b/c of nostalgia critic, but turns out I had already seen this movie. It had a cool mythos, but painfully, PAINFULLY foolish characters (especially the kid).