(On Cable TV, September 2012) As far as haunted-house horror movies featuring young protagonists are concerned, Don’t be Afraid of the Dark, 2010-remake edition, isn’t too bad: It’s got the creepy house, it’s got the malevolent creatures, it’s got the sympathetic young girl as a protagonist and it has a lot of atmosphere. The screenplay may be from Guillermo del Toro (who also produced the film) but don’t be fooled: while the result has a few similarities with del Toro’s already-classic Pan’s Labyrinth, it is markedly more ordinary and doesn’t really rise above the horror B-movie genre. Still, within these confines, Don’t be Afraid of the Dark does a few things right: Troy Nixey’s direction is fluid and creates a effective sense of space by moving through the sets. The actors turn in good performances: Bailee Madison is center stage as the young protagonist, but Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce do just fine as the adults renovating an old creepy house. The script is a bit too loosely-connected to be entirely satisfying, some sub-plots lead nowhere and the ending is a bit more heartless than expected, but the film itself has its good moments, especially if you focus on the cinematography. While Don’t be Afraid of the Dark won’t win awards or remain in memory longer than the next decent horror film, it’s not a bad way to spend a stormy Saturday evening.