IR Interview: Jorge R. Gutierrez (Director), Gustavo Santaolalla (Composer) & Danny Trejo (Actor) For “The Book Of Life” [Fox Home Entertainment]

Produced & Interviewed By Tim Wassberg

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark – Film Review

The texture of “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark” interestingly resides in its foreign film roots, not in its origin but in its actual overtones. Guillermo Del Toro is interrelated as being the tone within which this is based. The American perception causes problems because what transpires in a foreign language feels much more exacting when you don’t realize the actual interpretation. The problem here is that the dialogue is purely interspersed as exposition which makes the characters state the obvious which almost comes out as dumb. The parents, step or not, come out as caricatures. There is no separation from Katie Holmes, the celebity, and Holmes, the actress so it is hard to involve the idea of her character. Guy Pearce, who usually is exceptionally sharp in terms of the kind of projects he selects, seems like a smooth blank slate here but nothing to fill it with except a disinterested more interested in his business than his daughter. The little girl, who sees odd creatures in the basement of their new house, is not bad but again the narrative and obvious exposition take away any sense of foreboding and tension. Balanced within this sense is no aspect of humor creating a lack of any function to the progression.

When a keeper is attacked and killed by these little cretins, everyone thinks that someone else did it but the lack of practicality in this deduction just seems to point to the fact that everyone is at fault for failing to see the final result. When the collision of aggressive creatures and seemingly ignorant humans commences, the resulting empathy is fairly null. The paradox is that when looking at a film like “Pan’s Labyrinth” or “The Devil’s Backbone” shot and progressed in Spanish with possibly similar obvious dialogue, it becomes part of the world. Being so specific to the way that American audiences will not accept certain aspects that might be natural to other countries shows the reasoning that more and more the angle of making pictures is approaching foreign audiences and appealing directly to their sensibilities. “Don’t Be Afraid” ironically might play exceptionally well in Latin American countries simply because our language will then be foreign.

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