‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ brings back creepy childhood memories


Today marks the opening day of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. As a childhood fan of scary movies, particularly of the mysterious unexplained kind featuring unearthly creatures, I can totally relate to why the film’s producer/screenplay writer Guillermo del Toro felt the need to revisit this 1973 made-for-TV movie.

One Halloween day, many years ago, NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” was asking listeners to talk about the their favorite scary movie. The usual suspects emerged: The Shining, the Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc. Then someone mentioned Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and described the happenings featuring little whispering critters scurrying in the dark corners of an old mansion. The memories came flooding back. This was the movie that freaked me out so bad as a little kid, home alone, that I ran out of my house after the finale to wait for mom to get home, one sunny Saturday afternoon.

A couple of days ago, I was able to attend a preview screening of Del Toro’s re-imagining of the story (he did hire Troy Nixey, a first-time feature film director, to helm it) and decided to write mostly about my memories of the original, as, for me, nothing was as scary as that original film … being an 8-year-old kid and all. My review appears through the logo below:

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark opens in wide release today and is rated R.

Hans Morgenstern

(Copyright 2011 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)


  1. I always said that this movie was one of those creepy nightmare inducing stories. Not many people remember this classic but I do. They did justice to the original and I dont say that about too many remakes. Most redos kill the heart of the first, but I HIGHLY recommend this movie.


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