WB Archive Collection: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark – DVD Review


Another entry in the Warner Bros. Archive Collection, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is a made-for-TV horror film from the 1970s. Considered by many to be the scariest horror film ever made for TV, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark delves into one woman’s struggle to maintain her sanity in the midst of insane happenings.

When Sally (Kim Darby) and Alex (Jim Hutton; actor Timothy Hutton’s father) move into their new place, Sally discovers a room where the door is blocked by brick, concrete, and iron bars (is Bad Ronald behind there?). Determined to discover what’s behind the rock-solid barricade, Sally goes to work and eventually finds a way into the room.

What she sees is of no consequence. What she releases is pure evil. Well, miniature evil. Demonic midgets begin to terrorize Sally to no end. Husband Alex thinks she’s just acting like a scatterbrained woman. No one else believes her either except for the handyman who warned her not to fiddle with the secret room in the first place.

What do these mini-demons want? Why Sally, of course. They whisper about coming for her, wants her, taking her. Creepy? You betcha.

And so, Sally’s quest begins. Will she make her husband believe? Will she stop the evil midgets from destroying her? And what’s with the interior decorator who looks like Charles Manson? These and other questions are explored in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.

Now, I understand that this is a TV-movie from 1973, which means blood and gore and sex are replaced by darkness, weird noises, and paranoia. But at some point in the first part of the film, there needed to be an event that would keep the viewer tuned in. I, sadly, tuned out. I did, however, find the film’s ending quite chilling and gripping, so if you can be patient and get to the last 20 minutes of the film, you should be wrapped up in the finale.

[REMAKE ALERT: You knew it was coming! The remake of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark will be in theatres in 2011. Click here for more details.]

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