Despite the film’s title, the team behind “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” really do want you to be afraid, mostly because everyone loves a good, safe scare.
Only a horror film connoisseur like Guillermo del Toro would dig into the vault to find an obscure 1973 ABC TV-movie to have director Troy Nixey put a modern spin on – but that’s because he just loves turning the screws on audiences.
“I kind of love it as a producer more than anything,” del Toro tells PopcornBiz, “because you're not that nervous in creating the movie, but you get to enjoy the perks of having people jump in the theater and laugh nervously. It's really fantastic as an exercise. Hitchcock used to say that genre movies play people almost like musical notes. I think it's true of comedy and it's true of horror.”
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Star Katie Holmes still remembers the chills she felt from her first horror film viewings. “I’m a fan of classic horror films like ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’” she says. “This reminded me a lot of those kinds of films because the characters were going through real emotional problems. There was tension. There were high stakes. It made the scares MORE scary.”
“For some reason I like scary movies,” says Holmes’ 11-year-old co-star Bailee Madison. “They're fun to watch and you get to scare yourself. It's exciting. It was fun for me because I had the original movie from my neighbor. She brought it over and I got to compare everything, which was super-exciting, and I was just really excited to return to such a classic film. So this one is also a classic, because I know it's really, really scary and I feel like it's a film that everyone will watch when they get older.”