Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Afraid of the Dark

Some creep is going around slashing up the faces of blind women with a razor. A young boy with a blind mother decides to play detective and find the slasher himself. Only things aren't exactly what they seem, and the true threat is something entirely different.

All throughout the first half of Afraid of the Dark I couldn't help but assume that the filmmakers were big fans of Italian horror/giallo movies. (A cameo by the beautiful Catriona MacColl seems to confirm this). It has all the hallmarks: mysterious gloved killer, exploitation of the blind, obsession with eyes/vision, weirdo high-stylization.

Then the film takes a rather unexpected turn in the second half, becoming an altogether different type of film. The first half could be categorized as a slasher movie, but the second half is a moody psychological drama/thriller. I'm not sure either half is entirely successful on their own terms, but there is something unique and interesting in the way the film splices them together. If nothing else, Afraid of the Dark deserves credit for its ambition, and for trying something different.

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