Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

Featured In Issue 164, February 2012

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Violence and terror
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Troy Nixey
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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In Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark, Sally (Madison), a young girl, moves to Rhode Island to live with her father (Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Holmes) in the 19th century mansion they are restoring. While exploring the house, Sally starts to hear voices coming from creatures in the basement, whose hidden agenda is to claim her as one of their own. Based on the teleplay by Nigel McKeand. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a three-part making-of documentary: The Story (HD 06:14), Blackwood's Mansion (HD 05:04), and The Creatures (HD 09:31); a conceptual art gallery; the UltraViolet version; up-front previews; and BD-Live functionality.

The 1080p AVC picture is impressively filmic, with well-balanced contrast that exhibits excellent shadow delineation but requires viewing in a darkened environment, preferably a black setting on a display capable of excellent native contrast performance, in order to fully visualize the resolution and shades of darkness. The color palette is natural throughout, with nicely saturated hues that show up even in the darkness. Blacks are deep and solid. Fleshtones are perfectly natural throughout. Resolution is excellent, with details revealed in facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. Oliver Stapleton's cinematography is engaging and impressive in its range of shadow resolution and lighting. The result is a really spooky visual experience that builds the terror in a steady but slow manner and keeps you on the edge of your seat. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is terrific, with an aggressively holosonic® soundfield that is extremely dimensional, with impressive directionality and depth. Atmospherics and sound effects are directionalized throughout with impressive directionality and dynamic sensitivity. The patter of small creatures whisking across hard floors is really terrifying. At times they are everywhere in the soundfield in all directions. Deep bass effectually punctuates the tension with, at times, sub-25 Hz bass in the .1 LFE channel. The orchestral music score is dynamic and sweeping, with a wide and deep soundstage presence that extends deep into the surrounds to create a sense of musical envelopment. Dialogue is impressively integrated spatially with nicely layered dimensionality. (Gary Reber)