Ms. Spenser wanted to see some Guillermo del Toro, so I looked to see what was on Netflix that we hadn't watched. I immediately queued up Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011), and Netflix put it in the mail just that quick. Even before I noticed that del Toro did not direct - he co-wrote. Oh well. I also didn't realize it was a remake.
It starts creepily enough, with an old man calling his maid down to the basement. He kills her with a hammer and chisel and puts her teeth as an offering in a stove. Then something pulls him in and down into the ashpit.
But that was in the past. In the present day, Guy Pearce and his girlfriend Katie Holmes live in the house. They are refurbing the house, and have all their money and professional reputation tied up in it. His ex-wife sends their young daughter (Bailee Madison) to live with them - and doesn't care what they or her think about it.
She thinks the place is pretty creepy, and doesn't exactly warm to Mom's girlfriend, but seems like she's willing to work with what she's got. She's on some kind of medication, so maybe she has some problems, but they don't seem too severe. When she hears voices in the walls, she thinks they might be fun to play with, but they are not.
The gremlins start making trouble, which Bailee gets blamed for. They scare her, which makes her seem unstable. In the original 1973 TV movie this is a remake of, it is the wife, Kim Darby, who is threatened, who everyone thinks is crazy. Women and children, we never believe them, especially in horror movies.
I thought this was all pretty scary, although -minor spoiler- when we see the creatures, they are kind of silly. Ms. Spenser was not impressed. I still owe her a scary movie.