[UPDATE: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark has secured a U.S. distributor as well.]
A creepy tale about a mysterious house haunted by wicked creatures, one that was co-scripted and produced by Guillermo del Toro, doesn't sound like a likely candidate to end up stuck in theatrical release limbo, but that's exactly what's happened to Don't Be Afraid of the Dark.
The supernatural horror film was originally scheduled to be distributed by Disney in the U.S. a week ago from today, but the Mouse House dropped the pic last fall. Now Don't Be Afraid of the Dark has at last been picked up for distribution overseas, which will hopefully encourage another studio to sign on and release it here in the States as well.
Variety is reporting that Pathe International has secured foreign rights for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, which made a splash at last year's Comic-Con, between del Toro's horror discussion panel and the trailer premiere. Fans have since been anxiously awaiting the chance to see what imaginative, but disturbing, monsters and scares the Pan's Labyrinth creator and director Troy Nixey concocted for their ghoulish, atmospheric, collaboration based off the cult 1973 release of the same name.
To refresh your memories, here's the synopsis for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, followed by the official trailer:
"Sally Hurst (Bailee Madison), a lonely, withdrawn child, has just arrived in Rhode Island to live with her father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) at the 19th-century mansion they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."
While Don't Be Afraid of the Dark may lack the depth and unnerving substance of films like The Devil's Backbone or Cronos (both of which del Toro wrote and directed), it has the potential to be a spooky flick that offers some legitimate scares - rather than an overload of shock and gore that most U.S. horror pics rely on nowadays. Now if only a studio will actually release the film...
[UPDATE: FilmDistrict will release Don't Be Afraid of the Dark in theaters around the U.S. on August 26th, 2011.]