Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Blackwood’s Guide to Dangerous Fairies

When I heard that there was going to be a remake of the movie Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, I was excited, simply because I love Guillermo del Toro ever since I saw The Devil’s Backbone. Since then, I have seen Pan’s Labyrinth, The Orphanage, Hellboy, and Rudo Y Cursi.  And a few others.  I am sooo excited that he is taking part in bringing to life and to the big screen one of my all time favorite books, The Hobbit.  A part of my pride is that I am a Mexican Americant, and Guillermo del Toro is from the motherland.  And while my people have been creating works of art since prehistory, it’s so nice to see it be appreciated in mainstream media.  But I digress. 


1973 Helpless Pre-Women's Lib Sally


2011 Still Helpless But Acceptable Because She's 8 Sally

So, I rented the original Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.  It was….interesting.  And also made for t.v., and it showed.  But I don’t mind that, what bothered me, and was laughable, was the main character, Sally is a young housewife who is, hopeless, I mean helpless.  While she is freaking out, begging her husband to get her out of the house, he responds with sedating her, and keeping her in the house.  And she stays, and hardly puts up a fight. I was especially frustrated with her falling asleep because of the meds despite being in mortal danger.  She kept waking up just enough to whine about getting out, but never enough to make her try.  Come on! I mean, didn’t women’s lib begin a decade before?  You would never have guessed that in this movie.  

The remake makes the helpless Sally more real by making her a child (so much more sense).  Naturally, as it was not made for t.v. and nearly 40 years after the original, the effects were much better.  And I really really like that the step mother (Katie Holmes) is a good guy in this movie.  I mean step moms get a bad rap, it’s about time.  This movie was way more girl power than the original.  I appreciated that and I enjoyed it.  If you haven’t seen it, give it a go.  You won’t be disappointed.  I’m kind of hoping for a sequel.  


But I digress again.  I don’t know about you guys, but I’m always going through my recommendations.  And Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was recommended to me (thank you  I was about to click on I own this, when I realize, it’s a book!  Image

It’s a prequel to the movie.  The book is a fairy encyclopedia put together by Emerson Blackwood, who, if you saw the movie-then you know he was the previous owner of the house, whose child went missing and who created that creepy mural that Katie Holmes’ character found under some wallpaper. It’s really more of a description of mythical creatures that are dangerous and should be avoided.  In between that is the story of Emerson Blackwood’s travels to find them (and he does), his falling in love, and eventual marriage.  His knowledge of the “others” puts him and his family in danger.  I don’t want to spoil this for you, but the story he puts together of these creatures is pretty entertaining.  It also makes me afraid of the tooth fairy.  Or as they are called here, toothbreakers.  

Honestly, I want more, I want a prequel to this prequel.  One perhaps of the story of the toothbreakers making a treaty with the vikings, the slaughter of the children that led to the war between the toothbreakers and the vikings.  And/or what led to the treaty with the Vatican.  That would be awesome!



4 thoughts on “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Blackwood’s Guide to Dangerous Fairies

  1. Somehow the description of the first movie reminds me of that Yellow Wallpaper short story we had to read. Remember? Didn’t the husband keep her drugged too? That would be especially aggravating. And gosh, the toothbreakers sound way scary.

    • Right!? I totally thought that too. I was like, “let her out of the house, dammit!” Yeah, I don’t remember if she was drugged in the short story. The toothbreakers in the movie (1973) version aren’t scary. And I don’t think they are called that in either movie. It’s the book that gives them the name. Much more appropriately scary then “toothfairy”.

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