Ryan is a young boy who is afraid of the dark, and believes that there are sinister entities hell-bent on getting their claws on him once he finds himself outside the protection of light. And of course…no one believes him. One evening, Ryan’s parents are going out on a date, and his big brother Dale is going to babysit him. And what happens? There’s a power outage, of course! And Dale, who previously used to mock Ryan for his fear of the dark, soon experiences that this fear is not at all unfounded. The good old phrase “there’s nothing there in the dark that isn’t there in the light”, which Dale has told Ryan to tell himself over and over, now also lose its power over Dale as well when it becomes evident that there is indeed something there in the dark after all…
Fear of the Dark, with its cheesy ghoulish dvd cover and simple concept, pretty much gives you exactly what it promises: this is a “horror” film for a younger audience, and could pretty much be seen as a long Goosebumps episode, and perhaps as being a little reminiscent of Are you afraid of the Dark, which was also a horror series for a young audience which is considerably lesser known than the aforementioned one. With that in mind, and without any expectation of getting some real scares here, it can be a decent enough watch. The story is simple enough: when it gets dark, the boogeymen are coming after you. Something that is easily identifiable for many of us, as a fear of the dark is something a lot of children have experienced (and mostly, thankfully, grown out of). But not for this film’s protagonist, of course…here, the boogeyman is real, and there’s not just one, but several of them. They come off as some kind of mix-up with Freddy Krueger and the aliens from Dark City, wearing long coats and hats. Not scary in the slightest, but maybe a little for the kiddies, and the ghoulish appearance of the boogeymen kind of fits with the film’s otherwise slightly cheesy tone.
There’s not really all that much to say about a movie like this, and if you’re looking for a scare, then, well…this is definitely not the movie you should watch. If you’ve still got enough of your child in you to appreciate a movie aimed for a younger audience, then Fear of the Dark can be an okay experience if taken for what it is.
Director: K.C. Bascombe
Writers: K.C. Bascombe, John Sullivan
Country & year: Canada, 2003
Actors: Kevin Zegers, Jesse James, Rachel Skarsten, Charles Edwin Powell, Linda Purl, Daniel Rindress-Kay, Derrick Damon Reeve, Charles-Etienne Burelle