The Tooth Fairies are NOT what you think!

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, a 2010 film starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pierce, written by Guillermo del Toro.

This was under horror movies, but is more like a horror movie for a younger audience.  Only what violence there is puts it out of the running for a kids film.

Sally’s mother has sent her to live with her father.  It wasn’t clear why but that could be because I tend to multi-task when watching a film.  I don’t sit still well. I’m suspecting that Sally might have been somewhat difficult because in the course of the film, you find out that she had been seeing a shrink when she was living with her mom.  Dad has just purchased a historic ruin of a home to restore and resell.  All his money is tied up into it. 

Sally, while exploring the garden, finds the basement skylight.  This leads to her dad and his girlfriend tracking down the entrance and discovering a rather interesting workroom.  Sally beginning to hear the voices of critters in the ash pit under the fireplace.  At first they sympathize with her and play into her fears that no one wants her.  But it isn’t long before their vicious nature is exposed and then they attack an adult.

Like most young kids, she isn’t thrilled with her dad’s girlfriend, Kim.  This changes in fairly short order as Kim is the only one to recognize that Sally is actually terrified of something.  So she goes to find out about the history of the place and doesn’t like what she finds. 

Of course, Dad, played by Guy Peirce, isn’t buying it.  He refuses to listen because it sounds so far-fetched and like a fairy tale.  As a result, the shit hits the fan during his special dinner party to show off the renovated house. 

This is not the fairies from this movie. I’m not sure what these are from, I do know I watched the film or t.v. show that they were on.

It is not really scary.  Just a little creepy.  I figured out they were twisted tooth fairies REALLY early on.  Little tiny creatures that crave teeth, oh yeah, Tooth Fairies.  It clicked about 5 to 10 minutes after the opening credits.  Shortly after Sally find the basement.  That was when I realized it wasn’t one creature but lots of little creatures. 

Guy Pierce did an adequate job portraying a father that is a bit more concerned about work than his child.  After all, he isn’t all that used to having her around yet.  He understands she is going though some abandonment issues because she feels her mom just gave her away.  He is a realist and believes what he sees.  To his credit, as soon as he sees it, he doesn’t try to rationalize and he totally believes her.

Katie Holmes does a much better performance as his girlfriend, Kim, who getting a bit of the ‘you’re not my mom’ treatment from Sally.  But when they think Sally shredded her dresses with her dad’s missing razor, she recognizes that Sally isn’t angry, but very much afraid.  Kim doesn’t want to over step her bounds but when Sally’s dad seems to busy to really see how Sally is feeling, her maternal instinct seems to kick in and she becomes more of a parent than the Dad.

Sally really steal the show.  At first, you don’t get a good feel for her.  But once Sally finds the basement, this young actress starts to really steal the show.  I think she could be one of those young actresses to watch and see if she grows in to her acting skills.  There seems to be a lot of potential there.  Even if she didn’t actually have to do a whole terribly lot on this film.  The use of children always seems to up the creepy factor.

Visually, the movie is stunning.  The sets are amazing.  The house it fantastic.  You can tell the creepy basement was once stunning.  The basement extends from the house with a large round alcove that has a domed sunroof in the garden.  The fairies, when you see them, are CGI and well done. 

This little guy was one of the fairies from the movie. He looked a rather like the last person the fairies took before the basement was boarded up.

On the whole, while it was an entertaining little movie, it wasn’t horror.  It wasn’t terribly scary.  The end was more sad that horrifying.  But the very very last bit, where you only hear the voices, may be the most creepy part of the entire film. It isn’t del Toro’s best work.  But he only wrote.  Then someone else did the screen play for it.  And another person directed it.  That could be why it felt like a del Toro film but seemed subpar for something with his name attached to it.

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