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File:Dontbeafraidofthedark poster 2061.jpg
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is a theatrical remake of the 1973 TV Made for TV Movie of the same title. The film was directed by Troy Nixey and produced by Guillermo del Toro. Already finished in 2010, it was shelved in the course of Miramax' sale by Disney and was released on August 26, 2011. It made its round through several film festivals and conventions before release.

The plot revolves around a little girl named Sally being sent to her father Alex's house. There, she meets her father's new girlfriend, Kim. As Sally explores the house, she comes across a strange grate in the basement. Unknown to her, the grate contains evil creatures called Homunculi that live underneath the basement. Alex does not believe her when she tells him, but Kim does. As time runs out, Sally and Kim must stop the creatures, who want to claim Sally as one of their own.

The movie is currently rated R for "violence and terror". Meaning, it was rated R only because it was terrifying.


Tropes demonstrated in the film:

  • All There in the Manual: The origins of the Homunculi and the life and adventures of the owner of Blackwood Manor, named Emerson Blackwood, are detailed in Don't Be Afraid of The Dark: Blackwood's Guide to Dangerous Fairies.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The homunculi.
  • Berserk Button: For God's sake, don't give the homunculi anything other then children's teeth.
    • Don't try to warn anyone about their existance either. The poor groundskeeper.
  • Big Bad: The homunculi are this, at first...
    • Bigger Bad: But it turns out that the Bigger Bad is none other then Blackwood himself, who was turned into a homunculus.
  • Big Fancy House: Blackwood Manor, which is also a Haunted House complete with creaking doors, an overgrown garden, a misty lake and hooting owls in the night.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Alex and Sally get away, but Kim (the true hero of the story) is captured by the homunculi and soon becomes one of them. Also, it's obvious that the people who buy the house next are screwed.
  • Body Horror: Dear God, the sight and sound of Kim's legs breaking as the homunculi pull her into the fireplace will haunt you forever.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Real Polaroid cameras have about ten photos per film, and the type of flashgun used here has 5/6 shots, but Sally manages to transcend these limitations considerably.
  • Brainy Brunette: Kim.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Sally.
  • Candlelit Bath: Admit it. You totally knew that the homunculi were going to attack Sally the moment she got into that bathtub.
  • Cassandra Truth: No one except Kim believes any of Sally's "stories."
  • Chekhov's Gun: Kim's camera. Sally uses it's bright flash to hurt/scare off the homunculi.
  • Creepy Basement: Locked away and hidden by the previous inhabitants -- for a very good reason. Sally discovers its window under a hedge.
  • Creepy Doll: Sally's teddy bear.
    • Her original doll becomes this trope after the homunculi get ahold of it and break off its smile, apparently in an attempt to eat its teeth.
  • Crusty Caretaker: Mr. Harris.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Attempted when Mr. Harris gets mobbed by a dozen Homunculi, but he manages to fight them off.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Sally.
  • The Fair Folk: The homunculi. The fairy ring Sally finds in the garden pretty much clinches it.
  • Fan Nickname: Screamer, for the homunculus that pulls a jump scare on Sally under the covers of her bed.
  • Foot Focus: There are dozens of close up shots of Sally's bare feet. She spends about half of the movie barefoot. Her parents are also barefoot from time to time.
  • Foreshadowing: Blackwood mentioning Miss Winter's "lovely teeth" in Blackwood's Guide To Dangerous Fairies foreshadows his transformation into a Homunculus.
  • Grimmification: The homunculi leave Sally a coin when they take a tooth she left under her pillow, just like the tooth fairy. Then they try to kidnap her.
  • Haunted House Historian
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kim manages to get Sally free from her ropes and tells her to run while she gets captured by the homunculi herself. Made into a Fate Worse Than Death when it's discovered that anyone not killed by them basically becomes one of them.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: King Edward VIII aka "David" is Sally's father. Meanwhile, Joey Potter is Kim.
  • Hostage for Macguffin: At the beginning of the movie, the homunculi promise to give Blackwood back his son if he gives them children's teeth to eat. He attempts to persuade them with the maid's teeth instead. They are not pleased.
  • Hot Librarian: Male example; the unnamed young librarian who gives Kim information about the homunculi.
  • Infant Immortality: Brutally averted.
  • Jump Scare: Quite a few. Most prominent in a scene where the homunculi raid Sally's room in the night. Sally crawls under the blanket of her bed to chase them down. Suddenly, a homunculus comes out of nowhere and screeches.
  • Lovecraft Country: The film just happens to be set in Providence, Rhode Island. When you think about it, that very fact kinda makes the homunculi seem just that bit scarier...
  • Mama Bear: Kim will do anything to protect Sally, and even gives her life to save her.
  • Missing Mom: From Sally's perspective, her mother pretty much dumped her on her father. The saddest part? She's probably right.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: Sally's drawings of the homunculi... dear God.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The manual goes into great detail about exactly how they're different and where the fairies are from. The homunculi are identified as 'tooth fairies' a number of times, along with darker names.
  • Parental Substitute: Kim to Sally.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Sally's father Alex.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Miss Winter, the maid at the beginning.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The homunculi in the house.
  • Secret Keeper: The groundskeeper knew about the homunculi's existance the whole time. He ultimately pays the price when he discreetly tries to warn Sally and her family about them.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Sally, who ended up being pulled into the fireplace in the original version.
  • Supernatural Proof Father: Alex.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The Homunculi will eat bones, but they absolutely love children's teeth.
  • The Voice: Sally's mother. We only get to hear her talk on the phone.
  • Weakened by the Light: The homunculi are hurt by bright light.
  • What Happend To The Mouse: In the course of scaring them away, Sally takes numerous pictures of the critters, and even removes one of their arms. We never see any of the pictures, they don't seem to convince the father very much, and the arm is never mentioned again.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Averted with Kim. She actually tells Alex that she feels like one due to Sally's initial coldness towards her, but she's not even close to actually being wicked.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The homunculi.
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