10 Fun Facts About “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”

Guillermo Del Toro has a style unto himself.  So it was no surprise when he decided to co-write and produce a remake to the 1973 TV movie Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and give it a dark fantasy twist.

However, it seems that in the years since its release, the wildly underrated movie has fallen into great obscurity.  So, in honor of its 10th anniversary, we thought it would be fitting to look at 10 fun facts about Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.

1. In the 1973 original, Sally was the name of the wife rather than the daughter, and she was the one being plagued by the creatures. However Guillermo Del Toro felt that it would make more sense if it was a child who saw them, because people would be less likely to believe a child.

Despite her young age, Bailee Madison really stood out in her leading performance.

2. Despite “Guillermo Del Toro Presents” being in all the marketing, the film itself was directed by Troy Nixey. Nixey was a comic book artist who had directed a short film, and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was his first and only feature film.

3. While there are strong H.P. Lovecraft influences in Del Toro’s career, he cited Arthur Machel (author of “The Great God Pan”) as his primary inspiration for this movie.

4. Guillermo Del Toro has a cameo as a passenger on the plane behind Sally. He also lent his voice to one of the monsters.

Hey may not have directed, but Del Toro was on set and very much part of production at every stage.

5. While set in Rhode Island, the entire movie was shot in Australia.

6. For the design of the creatures, director Troy Nixey modeled them after mole rats.

There’s definitely a resemblance…

7. Despite a strong marketing campaign, the film only grossed $38.3 million on a $25 million budget. So it was ultimately considered a flop, especially when factoring in marking costs.

8. While it didn’t perform too well at the box office, Roger Ebert gave the movie 3.5/4 stars citing it as, “a very good haunted house film”.

9. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was nominated for the Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Wide Release Film, but lost to Insidious.

It was a decent horror film that just never really got much attention unfortunately.

10. Ranked #7 in Watchmojo’s list of “Top 10 Horror Movies that Tried Too Hard”.

Which of these did you already know?  Which ones surprised you?  Let us know in the comments!

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