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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark | 2011 | R | - 1.8.3

A man's (Guy Pearce) young daughter (Bailee Madison) joins him and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in a remote Rhode Island mansion, and while exploring its hidden treasures she uncovers a horrific truth about the man that used to live there. Directed by Troy Nixey. [1:40]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A man and a woman kiss and snuggle in a bed, and then kiss and wrestle. A man and a woman kiss. A man kisses a woman on the cheek and they hug.
 A young girl covers a vent in her room with a pillow after hearing her father and his girlfriend wrestling in bed.
 A man is shown bare-chested while shaving. A woman wears a low-cut slip that reveals cleavage and bare shoulders. A woman wears a short robe that reveals cleavage and bare legs while dressing. A young girl is shown in a bathtub covered to the shoulders with bubbles.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - Creatures look like bugs with human-like heads, pointed claw-like appendages and covered with gray-tinged flesh.
 A man is attacked by numerous creatures that swarm him while wielding sharp implements that slash and cut and stab him: he removes a screwdriver from his leg and blood spurts, his hand is slashed and a bloody wound opens; he is stabbed with scissors and a utility knife and we see him very bloody, with half a pair of scissors sticking out of his shoulder (when he pulls it out blood spurts).
 A woman holding a lit candle calls to a man in a darkened basement, she hears a noise and he invites her to come down to him; as she walks down the stairs, she trips and lands hard on the ground where the man straddles her, places a chisel against her teeth and strikes it with a hammer (the woman screams, we hear a crack and the man's hands are covered with blood as he gathers teeth from the floor).
 A woman's legs are caught in a rope, she is pulled back against an opening and one of her legs snaps backward at the knee; she screams and she is pulled into the opening. A man leans into an opening that leads into a deep tunnel; we hear loud fluttering, the man screams and thrashes and is pulled into the hole by something unseen. As she screams, a girl is pulled by many creatures using a rope into a passageway and toward a tunnel opening.
 A creature is smashed in a sliding library shelf (we see blood spurt and one of its limbs falls to the floor). A creature is smashed with a flashlight and we see it flattened and bloody.
 The lights go out in a bathroom where a girl is bathing, she gets out of the tub and moves toward the door, she is surrounded by creatures carrying sharp implements, and they slash at her; she falls back into the bathtub, the creatures slash the shower curtain that falls on top of her and they skitter away when the lights come on. A man peers through a keyhole and something on the other side pokes a pointed piece of metal through it and pokes the man in the cheek. A man puts his ear near a grate and something on the other side pokes a pointed piece of metal through a hole and the man's ear is nearly poked. A man peers through a keyhole and something on the other side pokes a pointed piece of metal through it, nearly poking the man in the eye.
 A girl is trapped in a library and numerous creatures surround and attack her; she uses a flash camera to scare them away. Creatures move through the dark in a girl's room; the girl looks for them under her bed, puts her hand under the bed, and crawls under the bed and they scatter when the light is turned on. A man's foot is pulled out from under him; he falls to the ground, hits his head and is unconscious while his car is running in a closed garage. A woman trips down a flight of stairs and numerous creatures approach her saying "one life will be taken"; we see a bloody gash on her leg.
 Creatures knock a nightlight off a nightstand, a girl uses a flashlight to search her room, she crawls under her bed covers and comes face to face with a creature and they both scream. A woman walks through a darkened house with thunder clapping and lightning flashing. A young girl goes to a dark basement and tries to remove bolts that hold a grate closed while something behind it speaks to her. A young girl explores thick woods and a labyrinth garden and she screams when a man grabs her away from a door telling her it's dangerous.
 A young girl finds a plate of human teeth inside a tunnel behind a heavy grate. We see a man in a hospital bed and he has bloody and swollen cuts on his face and bloody bandages on his arm. We see a man with blood on the front of his shirt and it is implied that he had pulled out his own teeth (we see his bloody gums). A girl finds what looks like a sculpture with a mass of pointed antlers wrapped in a circle on top of it.
 A stuffed bear speaks to a girl (it's being controlled by creatures) and lunges toward her scaring her. We see numerous drawings and paintings of creatures with sharp claw-like fingers, white eyes and skeletal features. We see a mural of a young boy being held over numerous claw-like hands reaching out of the ground toward him. We see a horse-drawn carriage speed passed a darkened mansion.
 The camera travels down a vent, into a basement and through a heavy metal door where we hear voices whispering. An unseen entity unscrews bolts from a heavy metal door and the door clangs to the ground, startling a young girl. We see a girl's doll with its face chewed up and its head pulled off lying under her bed. A woman finds some of her clothing shredded. We see a girl's stuffed bear torn and with its stuffing coming out. A creature tears up a photograph. A man hammers down a wooden door splintering it and discovers a dark, cobweb-covered basement.
 A man yells at his daughter and blames her for damaging some clothing. A man yells at his daughter and sends her to her room for not eating. A man and a woman argue in a couple of scenes. A young girl asks if a man is "going to die" after he was attacked by creatures. A young girl is told, "They don't want you [her parents] but we do." A man pleads with an unseen entity to return his son (we don't understand what happened to the son). A girl pleads with her mother to let her come home. A man talks about "monsters in the basement." A girl describes creatures as resembling "fairies or gnomes." A man says that his young daughter's stuffed bear is "hanging from a noose" (it is not). A man says, "There were dead pigeons everywhere and poop" in an old mansion.

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LANGUAGE 3 - 1 mild scatological term, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (old, evil and very old step-mother, old fool), 3 religious exclamations.

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SUBSTANCE USE - A young girl takes a prescription drug, a doctor says he would like to prescribe a stronger medication for a girl's anxiety attacks, a man refers to his young daughter taking Adderall, and a man talks about a woman medicating her dogs.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Divorce, parenting, love of a parent, feeling unwanted, death of a child, fear, anger, anxiety, ancient entities.
MESSAGE - Believe your children when they say they see things in the dark.
CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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