Nightmare on new street
AS A child in Mexico, master director Guillermo del Toro ( Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy ) saw a low- budget American telemovie that would go on to heavily influence his work as a filmmaker.
As he remembers it, del Toro ‘‘ couldn’t understand a word of what anyone was saying. But the terror they found themselves in spoke all languages. They were scared, and so was I’’.
Having worked up a script for a new version of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, del Toro handed the project over to promising first- timer Troy Nixey to give it his best shot.
The newcomer has done a fairly good job of remixing the original to appeal to modern tastes. More importantly, Nixey is careful to pay homage to what so inspired del Toro ( who was executive producer on the project, which was filmed in Melbourne a few years ago).
What transpires, then, is a rock- solid entry in the time- worn haunted house genre.
You know the drill here. Fractured family unit ( emotionally detached architect Guy Pearce, his girlfriend Katie Holmes, both pictured, and his daughter Bailee Madison) buy cursed real estate.
The dwelling makes it perfectly clear to the occupants they should rack off right now if they know what’s good for them.
The residents remain too oblivious to get the hint for ages. And when they finally do, they still don’t move out.
Yes, we’ve been down this road many times before. But in this particular case, style does count for something over substance.
Nixey plays his ‘‘ big reveal’’ astonishingly early for a movie of this type, but cleverly uses a quality cast ( and some clever creature modelling and effects) to keep the creeps a- comin’.