Don’t Be Afraid of the Remake?

I think an all-consuming hatred for movie remakes is part of growing old and crotchety.

Hey, you damn kids, stop screwin’ around!

Is it possible that I can be so cranky as to growl about a remake of a movie I haven’t ever seen?  Sure, just a little.  It’s due primarily to the pile-up of ridiculosity that Hollywood seems to breed like gremlins.   It’s Them.  They made me this way!

Today I stumbled across a teaser trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s new take on Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (scheduled for Jan 2011 release).  The original 1973 made-for-TV movie seems to be fairly well liked.  I’ll have to find it and give it a look.  Kim Darby (you may know her from such films as Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and Better Off Dead) played the role of Sally, a woman that unleashes some tiny, nasty hellions during a rehab of her home.  As you would expect, hijinks ensue.

In the new version, Sally is played by 10-year-old Bailee Madison, who I vaguely recalling not mucking anything up in Bridge to Terabithia (yes, I watched that on purpose).  It seems like del Toro is creating a whole dank and dirty fairyland in his version and his reverence for the original material gives me some hope.  The film received an R-rating for being exceptionally scary.  That has to be a good thing.

Del Toro has been involved in some good films (Cronicas, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone, The Orphanage) so there is always a possibility this could be entertaining.  However, with a first-time director (Troy Nixey) and the tendency to overdo the shock and awe, it might end up falling flat.

It has been described as “an upscale creature feature” by Variety.  If it’s half as inventive in that realm as we saw from the Hellboy movies and Pan’s Labyrinth, then the creatures could make the whole thing for me.

I simply can’t resist little, angry creatures.  They’re in your closet, under your bed, coming down the chimney…

They got grubby little fingers
And dirty little minds
They’re gonna get you every time*

I still think fondly of those little, menacing bastards in The Gate.


About I.M. Pangs

digital verbal smog creator
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5 Responses to Don’t Be Afraid of the Remake?

  1. autumnforest says:

    Gol, Pangs…the original “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” very seriously needed a remake. Great concept, just not scary at all. I was hoping the right person would do the remake. Del Toro, however, has an obsession with children and horror and fantasy that makes me really uncomfortable when I see photos of him… That being said, I don’t think I’d bother to see that rendition. Damn! It really was a neat concept and made you wonder if the woman was mad or it was really happening, but the original was a movie-of-the-week feel that was super limp on the horror erection scale. I admit to never seeing a remake of something I didn’t see the original of, but if they do a remake–it’s almost always an abomination, i.e. “The Haunting,” “Amityville Horror,” “The Omen.” Somethings shouldn’t be remade–the original was damned good! Then, movies like this one beg for it.

    • I.M. Pangs says:

      I’m determined to see that original made-for-TV version no matter what!

      Del Toro does have crazy eyes. You know what they say about the eyes.

      I know this will torpedo my creditability, but I’ll have to come clean and admit that I didn’t hate the Amityville remake. However, I can say it added nothing new and was sort of pointless.

  2. autumnforest says:

    I like your confession. I admit I kind of enjoyed the Halloween remake but only because I liked seeing the young Michael’s POV. They eyes do tell it all. Too bad I gave away my TV version of “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.” I watched it once as an adult and it held none of the creepiness it did as a kid. In fact, it made me giggle. But, I love Kim Darby and the concept was a creepy one. You can probably find bootleg versions on ebay (where I found it) or you might find it online somewhere. If you loved 70s made-for-tv movies like “Crowhaven Farm” and “Racing with the Devil,” you’ll enjoy it.

    • I.M. Pangs says:

      I just saw Race with the Devil about a month or so ago for the first time since I was a wee lad. It was still a good romp. Peter Fonda and Warren Oates were a blast as characters out camping 70s style with an RV, motocross bikes, plenty of liquor and wicked groovy clothes. Throw in some babes (Loretta Swit, Lara Parker) and a Satanic cult….how can that not be fun?

  3. Pingback: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark trailer | Improbable Frontiers

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