Parents' Guide to

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Scary remake features some gore and a young girl in danger.

Movie R 2011 99 minutes
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 13+


The movie is violent but its like the gremlins just more graphic but not worse then what your kids have already seen. The shoes she wears is converse high tops noticeable from the logo. The movie was not what i expected and don't waste your time the movie honestly sucks. And if you do watch it it won't be that entertaining. But i can only watch it once.
age 15+

Family Standards

The film is gruesome at the beginning, people's teeth are seen getting cut off with a hammer, people falling from stairs, a woman being thrown into a hole by some rodents. The film is scary in parts, but slow in others. The father is having sex with a woman, and the room is so close to the girl, that the little girl hears them having sex, even do the sex scene is off-screen. I think the message of the film is that we should trust each other during desperate time. KNOW YOUR KIDS before taking them to watch this movie. This is an R-rated film!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (35 ):

The bulk of the movie generates a serious amount of suspense and dread, in anticipation of the terrors that might -- or might not -- come. The movie also adds a little girl to the mix, giving the movie a new fairy-tale dimension, similar to Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, although this movie seems more based in reality than fantasy. The design is key here. The huge house, as well as some haunting artwork, adds character and a slightly otherworldly mood.

The original 1973 TV movie that DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK is based on was low on gore and used some half-hidden, inexpensive visual effects to suggest the little monsters; the rest was left up to viewers' imagination. Here, writer/producer Guillermo Del Toro -- teaming with first-time director Troy Nixey -- more or less stays true to that concept, except that this version adds a couple of extra-gory sequences for today's horror hounds, as well as state-of-the-art digital creatures and strong characters.

Movie Details

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