Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1973) – movie review

***Top Television Horror Movies of the 1970’s***

dont be afraid of the dark - pic 5

“Sally, Sally…join us.”

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)

directed by John Newlandtop 1970's TV horror - small
Written by Nigel McKeand

Starring:
Kim Darby
Jim Hutton
Barbara Anderson
William Demarest

This original, made for TV movie, had a very low-key script with not much back story, and little special effects. Somehow this low-key film managed to be creepy as hell. When Sally and her husband inherit an old Victorian home, she opens up a basement fireplace despite the urging of a family worker telling her she should not. She unknowingly releases little goblins that were locked up in there for decades. They torment her while her husband is out, whispering her name and urging her to “Join us.” The most shocking scene is when Sally is having a dinner party for her husband’s firm and the nasty little demon man pulls the cloth napkin from her lap. There is a great sequence in the bathroom where the little goblins mentally torture her, clicking off the lights to attack but becoming still and silent when she calls her husband in. The husband insists that Sally is having some kind of mental breakdown making her further isolated in fear. This is another TV movie that shocked viewers especially because of the ending.

dont be afraid of the dark - pic 9

Fun Facts:

The movie was filmed in a little over two weeks due to a looming writers strike.

This had been a favorite movie of Guillermo del Toro when he was growing up. He and his brothers would tease each other around the house whispering, “Sally, Sally.” He produced and co-wrote the 2011 remake. Despite the fact, you can skip the remake, it has very little to offer.

dont be afraid of the dark - remastered dvd don-t-be-afraid-of-the-dark-original dvd

dont be afraid of the dark - TV Guide ad

7 thoughts on “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1973) – movie review

  1. The remake was pretty good, especially if you haven’t seen the original. I prefer the first movie. It had so much suspense, the creatures were horrid, and using shadows and light to build the suspense made it even scarier.

    • There were a few things I didn’t like about the remake. First, the home looked like an artist’s rendering of a gothic movie set, not a real mansion. It was too unrealistic to be believable to me. It would have been scarier if it were a regular home, like in the original. The second thing is almost the same as the first, the little girl was too dark and brooding, was she even scared of the little goblins? I don’t remember. It would have been a better story if she was a very happy and bright personality and the influence of the mansion turned her darker. Anyways, because of those two reasons I didn’t think the film was at all scary.

  2. Pingback: Top Television Horror Movies of the 1970’s – Top Honors! | parlor of horror

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