Barry Reese

Pulp Writer Extraordinaire

Don't_Be_Afraid_of_the_Dark_VHSEvery now and then I like to turn this blog over to other pulp fans to see what’s on their mind. Today we’re playing host to Ralph Grasso, the pulp fan behind numerous Facebook groups — including the incredibly popular The Shadow Knows! Ralph chose to discuss a classic film and its remake so settle back and give your attention to what he has to say:

Recently, I had a chance to watch a remake of an old television movie entitled “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”. I remember being thrilled and chilled by the made-for-television horror flick from 1973. The cast included notables Kim Darby, Jim Hutton and William Demarest. Aside from the original t.v. movie “THE NIGHT STALKER”, it was one of the best t.v. horror movies ever made.

The remake was made in 2010 by Guillermo Del Toro [of Hellboy fame] and stars Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes and Bailee Madison.The story involves a young girl that is sent by her mom to live with dad and his girlfriend in a spooky/old mansion. The young girl starts to hear creepy voices calling out to her (they obviously want her). She starts to be pursued by and sees little people/gnomes (and not the nice kind!). Of course, at first, no one believes her.Therein comes the fascinating part for me! There is a tie-in with the old welsh /British horror writer Arthur Machen (respected by Lovecraft and imitated by Robert E. Howard). Machen wrote 3 tales of horror involving these prehistoric little people/gnomes: The Shining Pyramid, The Red Hand and Novel of the Black Seal.

The remake is creepy and has the modern CGI effects. There is also a tie -in with the tooth fairy legend. The big thrill for me was comparing it to the original (which I still like better) and the mention of Arthur Machen’s fiction as well.

I conclude by saying it is not for children and although not as good as the original, it is not a bad way to pass a couple of hours!

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