One week ago today I wrote up Dan Curtis' made-for-TV-horror take on Dracula, and this week the series continues with the made-for-TV-horror favorite Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. TV horror movies are not my bad, so I can really only guess as to why this movie remains a point of discussion among horror buffs today - I imagine it's because so many people saw it as kids and were creeped out by the movie's murderous gremlins and surprisingly bleak ending.
There's actually some cool subtext to this movie, though. I like the way that Kim Darby's character is pretty much abandoned to her fate by her careerist husband, which functions as a potent metaphor for relationships in which one half goes off to work every day and the other half is "trapped" at home. It made me think a gender-reversed remake might be interesting, but for all I know the remake that came out a couple years ago used this conceit already (I'm not going to look it up because I don't want to).
In addition to Darby there's Jim Hutton as her husband, who brings a nice low-rent Jimmy Stewart quality to the role. He's got to be one of the shittiest screen husbands ever, dismissing Darby's fears at every turn and generally behaving like a boorish ass. There's also William Demarest in his final screen role, a very long way away from Preston Sturges.
In closing, I will advise all readers not to follow this movie's titular advice. It actually seems kind of hypocritical, all things considered.